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Deputies arrest suspect in Hillsborough slaying

TAMPA — A 27-year-old man is accused of murder in connection with a drug deal gone awry.

Steven Ray Keene was arrested Tuesday and faces charges of second-degree felony murder and attempted robbery.

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said he and Jason Bahamonde, also 27, were planning to rob two others while exchanging drugs for money on Feb. 26 in the parking lot of Alina's Supermarket, 4501 W Hamilton Ave.

Authorities' account:

Before the robbery, the two men purchased ammunition for a shotgun that Bahamonde had.

Keene drove to the scene and dropped Bahamonde off near where the exchange was to happen, authorities said.

He then drove next to the buyers' car and parked. Keene left the vehicle and walked to the trunk of his car, telling the two buyers that the drugs were inside.

Deputies said he intentionally stalled, waiting for Bahamonde to approach and rob the men.

Eventually, Bahamonde came up to the men and, armed with the shotgun, demanded money.

He struck one of the buyers several times with the butt of the weapon, investigators said.

At that point, one of the buyers fatally shot Bahamonde, hitting him multiple times.

Keene took the gun from Bahamonde and fled, leaving it in a trash bin at 5505 N Himes Ave.

Deputies said the buyers have been identified.

The investigation is ongoing.

Keene was being held without bail at a Hillsborough County jail. According to jail records, he is a self-employed landscaper.

He has been arrested several other times, including on charges of driving without a valid license, battery and possession of marijuana and cocaine, records show.

Deputies arrest suspect in Hillsborough slaying 03/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 11:04pm]
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