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Homeless man turns himself in at Pasco library, is charged in Pinellas beating death

TARPON SPRINGS — A homeless man suspected of beating another homeless man to death in an encampment near Tarpon Springs turned himself in Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

The suspect, Andrew T. Mitchell, 28, was charged with first-degree murder.

Mitchell and another man, Jesse F. Jester, 46, began arguing Saturday at a homeless camp in the woods off Alt. U.S. 19 and Rainville Road, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

Mitchell shoved Jester, who was seated, and began striking him, deputies said. A witness twice tried to stop Mitchell but failed, according to the Sheriff's Office.

When deputies arrived about 11 p.m. Saturday, Jester was dead and Mitchell had fled. A search using police dogs did not locate him.

About 1:45 p.m. Sunday, detectives said, Mitchell called the Pasco County Sheriff's Office from the New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main St., to turn himself in.

Detectives arrested him there without incident, and contacted Pinellas investigators who went to interview him, the Sheriff's Office said.

Mitchell was being taken to the Pasco County jail Sunday evening.

David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8779.

Homeless man turns himself in at Pasco library, is charged in Pinellas beating death 08/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 9, 2010 9:40am]
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