Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Child custody fight cited in stabbing death

PLANT CITY — Before police found the young woman's body, before they saw her stab wounds and found the little girl sleeping nearby, they talked to David Coleman, 23.

It was early Monday, and he was at his mother's house. He said he had just gotten in a fight with his children's mother. The pair argued over a child custody issue, he said.

His recollections of the fight, shared with a Hillsborough deputy a short time later, are included in a search warrant affidavit filed Monday afternoon in court.

According to Coleman, at some point during the fight, the children's mother, Tiffany April Lamar, 24, grabbed a butcher's knife. She went after Coleman with it, he said, saying: "I'm gonna … kill you tonight."

Coleman took the knife away from her.

What happened to the knife? the deputy asked. Coleman did not answer.

Did he strike Lamar with it? "Yes," he answered, according to the affidavit.

Is Lamar okay? "No," Coleman replied.

About 3:30 a.m., Plant City police officers forced their way into Lamar's home at the Woodbridge Apartments. She was already dead. She had multiple stab wounds, the affidavit states.

A young girl, unharmed, was sleeping in a nearby bedroom.

Police spent Monday morning investigating Lamar's death and questioning Coleman. At 2:30 p.m., authorities announced they were charging him with second-degree murder.

They said that after the pair's fight, Coleman left the apartment with twin children and went to his mother's house in eastern Hillsborough County. About 3:20 a.m., she called deputies.

Her son had stabbed his girlfriend, she said, according to the affidavit, and his hand was bleeding.

The child who was found inside the apartment, along with the twins, are in protective custody through the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Coleman was taken to the Orient Road Jail.

And though the search warrant explains Lamar's injuries, police declined to talk about them. They wanted to wait until her autopsy was complete, said Sgt. Tray Towles.

This is Coleman's 13th arrest in Florida, according to state records. His first was at age 13, when he was charged with possession a gun on school grounds, a felony.

He has also been charged multiple times with carrying a concealed firearm. A 2009 charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was dropped.

He spent nearly two years in prison starting in November 2011 for grand theft motor vehicle and leaving a crash with injuries.

He has a tattoo on his left arm, according to prison records. It's the slain woman's name: Tiffany.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writers Arielle Waldman and Claire Wiseman contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3433.

Child custody fight cited in stabbing death 09/30/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 7:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  2. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  3. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  4. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.
  5. Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration's travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy will be turning 81 next month.