HUDSON — Theodore Peck curled in a fetal position on his bed last month while he was beaten to death.
Documents obtained this week by the St. Petersburg Times describe how Peck, 53, was killed May 24 in what appears to be an argument about money. Authorities also claim to have witnesses to the attack and physical evidence — blood found in a rental car — linking suspect Andre "Remy" Jackson to the crime. The 33-year-old florist is charged with second-degree murder.
Authorities say Peck was punched repeatedly in the face at his home at 7110 Stevens Drive, which is just off Old Dixie Highway in Hudson. He was unconscious when paramedics arrived, and later died at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.
The arrest warrant issued for Jackson said he and Peck argued that morning about money. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office would not elaborate, or say how the men knew each other.
The Medical Examiner's Office said Peck died from blunt force trauma, the warrant states. Jackson weighed about 80 pounds more than Peck, who was tall but thin. It appears the only weapon Jackson used, authorities said, were his fists.
Neighbors said several people lived with Peck at the home, including a sickly transient Peck persuaded to come live indoors after years of living in the woods, and an older man Peck called "Pop" and treated like family.
Associates said Peck was kind and generous. He also had several brushes with the law and two stays in prison. The week before his death, Peck was charged with possession of oxycodone and drug paraphernalia, according to Pasco court records.
Jackson had previous arrests on charges of larceny, child abuse and a traffic violation, but he'd never been sentenced to prison in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
The witnesses in the house told investigators that Jackson threatened to kill them if they spoke of what they saw. After leaving the home, Jackson drove a rental car to Tampa and exchanged it for another vehicle, his arrest warrant states. Human blood was found in the driver's side area of the first rental car, the document states. Sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin would not say whose blood it was.
Jackson turned himself in to authorities May 29. While incarcerated, he denied an interview request with the Times. He was released from the Pasco jail Thursday and unable to be reached for comment on this story. Relatives for both Peck and Jackson were unable to be reached Friday.
Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.