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Arrest made in weekend murder of Hudson man

HUDSON — Deputies on Tuesday arrested the man they believe murdered 26-year-old Frankie Soto over the weekend.

Matthew Walter Mebane, 21, went to the home at 12206 Bear Claw Loop in Beacon Woods on Sunday night, wearing a gray sweatshirt, hood up and sunglasses, a Pasco sheriff's report states. He would later tell detectives he was there under the guise of buying marijuana from Soto, but intended to rob him.

Soto and Blake Betz, who is listed as a witness, took Mebane into Soto's bedroom where Mebane brandished a .38-caliber revolver and demanded money, the report states. Mebane fired "a couple of times," Betz told investigators, at least once in the chest.

Soto and Mebane grappled. "Don't shoot me again!" Soto said.

Three other people in the house heard the shots and ran outside, the report states. Mebane fled. They came back to find Soto on the floor, bleeding.

"Help," he told them in a low voice, according to the report.

They tried to hoist him on a blanket to carry him to the car and drive to a hospital.

In an interview with investigators, Betz said he'd seen Mebane at the home before and pointed him out in a photo pack.

Detectives arrested Mebane, of 12210 Peppermill Drive in Hudson on Tuesday evening on a charge of first-degree murder.

Mebane has been arrested at least four times before in Pasco County, accused of carrying a concealed weapon, domestic battery, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was never convicted on any charges.

He remained in the Land O'Lakes jail on Wednesday, held without bail.

Contact Alex Orlando at aorlando@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6247.

Arrest made in weekend murder of Hudson man 11/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:43am]
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