Monday, December 18, 2017
Public safety

Holiday man fatally shot his stepfather after they argued, deputies say

HOLIDAY — Cars crowded the white-and-pink house on Mosaic Drive Friday morning, but the street was silent. The wailing sirens, whirring helicopters and Pasco Sheriff's deputies were gone.

A day earlier, authorities say, 20-year-old Jason Chevere shot his stepfather, Dale Wildermuth, 49. Now Wildermuth is dead and Chevere is in jail charged with first-degree murder.

Deputies' reports told this story: Wildermuth and Chevere had argued Thursday afternoon, and Wildermuth was pushing and grabbing the younger man, telling him to get out of the house where they both lived.

Five or 10 minutes after the physical contact ended, Chevere locked himself in his bedroom, the reports say. He reached for the gun he kept between his mattress and box spring, loaded six bullets into the magazine, and left his room with the Sig Sauer 9mm semi-automatic.

This time, when they argued, Chevere raised the gun and fired one bullet into Wildermuth's chest. Wildermuth collapsed and died at the scene.

When authorities arrived, Chevere was nowhere to be seen. Half an hour later, after helicopters and police dogs had been dispatched, Chevere returned from a walk around the neighborhood, the gun still on him.

Pasco Sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow said deputies had been called to the home in May because of a minor dispute between Wildermuth and his wife. Other than that, though, there was no history of visits to the home.

Jail records show Chevere, who is from Philadelphia, was arrested in Pasco in 2011 on a charge of violating probation for not having a valid driver's license. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail. He has no other arrests in Florida.

Family members declined to speak to a reporter Friday.

Times researcher Natalie A. Watson contributed to this report. Clare Lennon can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6262. Twitter: @clarelennon

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