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Police say robbers targeted, killed Tampa man for his ring, checks

TAMPA — Robbers stole a woman's wedding ring, checks and other items from the home of a Tampa man who was killed and left inside his burning house in September, records show.

Richard Blackman, 65, was discovered inside his Interbay Boulevard home with several stab wounds in the early morning hours of Sept. 22.

According to a search warrant filed by Tampa police, the Polk County men charged in the crime covered their faces and wore gloves to break into his home.

Police first tried to find Blackman's killers by releasing photos of Rosaley Harris, 19, at a Circle K store near Blackman's home twice during the time of the robbery.

Kermit Sanford, 34, told her to wait there, the warrant said, and Chase Morgan, 17, gave her a cell phone to communicate.

Once inside Blackman's home, Sanford and Tanner Harrison, 19, attacked him. Then, Sanford, Harrison, Morgan, Tyler Robertson, 19, and Shadow Hill, 20, stole items. Harrison set the house on fire as they left, the warrant said.

Someone called Harris at 1:30 a.m. and asked her to pick them up on a side street, she told police. Sanford later admitted to her that the five men had split the stolen items among themselves.

Later that day, Harrison tried to get a woman to cash a $9,500 SunTrust Bank check made out to Blackman. Morgan and Hill took a ring to a Winter Haven Quick Cash for Gold store.

All five men were arrested a few days later and charged with murder, arson and robbery.

Some of the men admitted to the attack after being read their rights, the warrant said. They remain in the Hillsborough County Jail without bail.

It is still unclear how Blackman was chosen as a target.

Police say robbers targeted, killed Tampa man for his ring, checks 11/16/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2011 8:19am]

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