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Link to shell casings leads to charges in Ruskin killing

RUSKIN — Shell casings linked a man already in the Hillsborough County Jail to Saturday night's murder of a neighbor, authorities said Tuesday.

Joel German Roberto, 18, of 719 NE 19th Ave., Lot 40, in Ruskin was arrested Sunday afternoon and initially charged with possession of a false identification card, deputies said. He was accused of shooting a pistol at several objects Sunday at 4414 Platt Road in Plant City.

Investigators said Tuesday the shell casings found on that property match the brand and 9mm caliber of those used to shoot and kill 23-year-old Jorge Juarez after a birthday party on Saturday night.

Witnesses told deputies that Juarez and Roberto got into an argument outside Lot 53 in their mobile home park, and Juarez slapped Roberto in the face. Roberto then pulled a 9mm pistol from his waistband, fired a shot into the air and pointed the gun at a second person, according to the Sheriff's Office.

More than half an hour later, Roberto found Juarez standing outside his mobile home on Lot 46, confronted him and shot him in the upper and lower body, deputies said.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office said Juarez died of gunshot wounds, with perforation of his lungs, aorta, liver and stomach.

Roberto will be charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm, the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies said he admitted to possessing the pistol, firing the single shot into the air during the argument and pointing the gun at someone else.

Link to shell casings leads to charges in Ruskin killing 03/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 10:32pm]

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