Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Public safety

Police: Tampa home invasion victim was pregnant

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TAMPA — Salatheia "Sunshine" Smith was about two months pregnant and spending time with her boyfriend inside their small Sulphur Springs home when two masked men barged inside early Sunday.

A frenzy of fighting, gunfire and a dog attack followed, leaving one dead and one critically injured, according to Tampa police, who needed most of a day to unravel the chaotic scene. This is what they say happened:

About 5 a.m., two men entered through the unlocked front door of the home at 8214 N Brooks St. planning to commit a robbery. Once inside, the men ordered the boyfriend's visiting mother, Sylvia Gilley, and her 4-year-old daughter, who was with her in the living room, down to the floor.

One of the men shot Smith, 22, police say.

Hearing the commotion, Smith's boyfriend, Charles Duefrane Jr., 23, walked out of a bedroom and tried to fight the men. He let loose a pit bull terrier, which bit one of the intruders in the leg.

One of the suspects shot the dog in the leg, but he dropped his gun as he struggled with the animal. Duefrane picked up the weapon and shot one of the suspects — Anthony Robinson, 35.

Both men ran from the house, but Robinson collapsed on the sidewalk outside the home. Police found him there when they arrived about 5:15 a.m. after they got calls about shots fired in the area. Robinson had suffered multiple gunshot wounds, police say.

Smith, who was six to eight weeks pregnant according to police, died at the hospital. She was a dancer at Flash Dancers in the Drew Park area, where she went by the stage name "Sunshine."

Robinson remains in critical condition. The dog survived and is now with Hillsborough County Animal Services.

Duefrane's mother, Gilley, 38, and Duefrane's 4-year-old sister were visiting at the time of the attack, but weren't injured. Police said Gilley shielded her daughter.

Smith lived in the home with Duefrane. One neighbor recalled her as a beautiful young woman who often spent time sitting outside, chatting with her neighbors. She has been arrested twice: Once in 2011 on domestic battery and in January on one count of failure to appear in court, according to state records.

Duefrane has been arrested twice on DUI charges. The second time, in 2013, police say they also found marijuana on him.

Robinson has been arrested 20 times since 1994, state records show, on charges including aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, driving under the influence and multiple cocaine charges.

He has spent four stints in prison on grand theft, burglary, aggravated fleeing, cocaine possession and other crimes committed in Hillsborough and Pinellas.

The house where Sunday's attack occurred is two doors down from the house where Lacy Coleman and Terry Harris were killed on April 30, 2012. Police have not announced any arrests or suspects in that case.

Police ask anyone with information about the person who fled the scene to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Claire Wiseman contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

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