Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Names of suspected shooters released in two Hernando cases

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday released the names of two men they suspect of fatally shooting two others in unrelated incidents last week.

Neither man has been charged.

Detectives believe Christopher Asciolla, 28, shot Michael Alexander Challis during an argument early Thursday at 6991 Pinehurst Drive in Spring Hill. Challis, 34, was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson, where he died.

Asciolla has no criminal record in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Property records list Robert J. Asciolla Sr. as the owner of the house where Challis was killed.

In Thursday's other incident, deputies said Joshua Harth, 24, fatally shot the man with whom he was living, George Avedissian, 68, during an argument inside Avedissian's home. The incident happened about 8:20 p.m. at 8743 Ostrom Way, just north of Weeki Wachee, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Harth also does not have a criminal record in the state, according to the FDLE.

In both cases, information has been slow to trickle out of the Sheriff's Office. Motives have not been released.

Detectives say they are actively investigating the cases, noting that the shootings are believed to be isolated. They say the public is not at risk.

Detectives have finished the bulk of their investigations and are tying up loose ends in each incident, said Sheriff Al Nienhuis.

"Both cases have somewhat unusual nuances, which will be released when the investigatory state of the case is closed and the appropriate disposition is assigned," Nienhuis said. "These nuances require careful and methodical collection, examination and comparison of the interviews and the physical evidence to ensure a proper, well documented and defendable decision is made, as to an appropriate response."

He said detectives have remained in regular contact with the families of the victims and with representatives of the State Attorney's Office.

Times researchers Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Danny Valentine can be reached at or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Names of suspected shooters released in two Hernando cases 05/28/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.