Monday, February 19, 2018
Public safety

Pinellas fisherman dies a month after attack on boat

MADEIRA BEACH — A commercial fisherman who was found severely beaten last month has died, authorities said.

As a result, authorities are reviewing charges already brought against three homeless men accused of attacking Michael T. Merrill at about 2 a.m. on Sept. 12.

Merrill encountered the men aboard the Lilly Anne, a 33-foot commercial fishing boat docked at a marina just south of the Tom Stuart Causeway.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the three transients, identified as Timothy John Schuyler, 31; Joshua Eugene Shroyer, 38; and Kord Lynn Tucker, 39, confronted Merrill on the boat late the night before.

Merrill told them to leave and reportedly threatened them with a knife.

Authorities said the trio returned a few hours later, however, and began beating Merrill, 57, with hand tools.

He escaped by diving into the water and hiding under the dock, deputies said. A friend found him there later and called for help.

Merrill was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with internal and head injuries, officials said. He died Thursday.

It is still unclear what triggered the beating, officials said. Schuyler, Shroyer and Tucker, arrested days after the attack, currently face aggravated battery charges.

Prosecutors and deputies continue to investigate, the Sheriff's Office said Friday.

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