ST. PETERSBURG — Authorities have upgraded criminal charges against a 60-year-old grandfather accused of setting his Euclid St. Paul home on fire earlier this week.
Daniel Thomas Papaleo now faces a charge of first degree murder, in addition to arson.
Police on Friday said Papaleo set two fires Wednesday in his single-story bungalow — to cover up the murder of his daughter's ex boyfriend. That evening, police said, Papaleo invited Robert Scott Greaves to his home, then attacked him from behind.
Papaleo struck Greaves, 33, "multiple times in the head with a blunt object," according to an arrest affidavit. Investigators found a hammer at the scene.
Prior to the fire, someone heard the victim calling for help, the report said. The witness told police the cries seemed to be coming from Papaleo's house, and when they peered inside, Papaleo looked out of breath.
Moments later, neighbors saw flames coming from the home at 1030 13th St. N and called 911.
Papaleo emerged from the house with injuries from the fire and was taken to the hospital. Neighbors didn't know until later that someone was still inside.
An autopsy determined that Greaves died of blunt force trauma prior to the fire. He and Papaleo's daughter have a child together, police said.
Papaleo was transferred Friday to the medical wing at the Pinellas County Jail.