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Suspect in Dunedin hatchet slaying was wanted in Kentucky

Arthur DeCarvalho is accused in a Dunedin slaying.

Arthur DeCarvalho is accused in a Dunedin slaying.

DUNEDIN — A 26-year-old man accused of killing his boyfriend with a hatchet Saturday is wanted in Kentucky for sending life-threatening text messages to a woman, according to records obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

Arthur DeCarvalho pleaded guilty to harassment and stalking charges in Grant County, Ky., in September. He was sentenced to about three months in jail and ordered not to contact the victim, his daughter's mother, records show.

But on April 23, he violated the domestic violence injunction when he sent a string of sexually explicit and violent text messages to her, according to court records.

"I look forward to killing you and watching your blood ooze out of your body," one text message reads. "Watching the life leave your eyes as I stare at you and finally get to feel the satisfaction of getting revenge on you … Hug her (their daughter) good bye because once I see you … you will never see her again."

But DeCarvalho never returned to Kentucky. Instead, he met David Elsey online and within a week moved into Elsey's home at 1658 Summit Way in Dunedin and killed him days later, according to sheriff's deputies.

He was arrested on a first-degree murder charge.

Before deputies discovered Elsey's body Saturday, police officers encountered a drunk DeCarvalho twice on Clearwater Beach, according to search warrants.

About 1 a.m. Saturday, a Clearwater police officer found him stumbling near Pier 60. "He had slurred speech, was missing a shoe, and had an odor of alcohol on his breath," records state.

DeCarvalho told the officer he lived at the 440 West Condominiums along Gulfview Boulevard. The officer dropped him off near the gate and watched him enter the complex.

Just before 3 a.m., another officer found DeCarvalho sleeping inside a Ford F-150, registered to Elsey, at the Surf Style parking garage at 315 S Gulfview Blvd.

The officer took him into custody under the Marchman Act, a state law designed to help substance abusers who might be a danger to themselves or others. While interviewing DeCarvalho, the officer noticed he had a second driver's license and about eight credit cards that belonged to Elsey.

DeCarvalho told the officer he met Elsey, 50, about a week earlier online and had moved into Elsey's house.

DeCarvalho also said he was not homosexual and was strictly using Elsey "for a place to stay," records state. That's when he abruptly admitted to striking Elsey in the back of his head with a hatchet about 10 times.

Sheriff's deputies found Elsey dead on a bed, his ankles and arms bound with a cord. The hatchet, measuring 18 to 24 inches long, was near his body, according to records.

DeCarvalho also admitted to keeping a stolen Nissan Rogue inside a storage unit in Largo. Deputies found the car, which has an Arkansas license plate.

DeCarvalho's family declined to comment. He remained at the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday without bail.

Times staff researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Laura C. Morel at or (727) 445-4157. On Twitter: @lauracmorel.

Suspect in Dunedin hatchet slaying was wanted in Kentucky 06/10/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 10:11pm]
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