TARPON SPRINGS — A man stabbed his neighbor more than 100 times in the head and hands because he believed the neighbor had assaulted and harassed his aunt, police said Sunday.
Jeremy Brown, 21, faces a charge of first-degree murder after stabbing Paul Wiggins, 48, on Friday night at the Hillside Mobile Home Park, according to the Tarpon Springs Police Department.
Brown threatened during a conversation with three people Friday night that he intended to kill Wiggins, according to Tarpon Springs police Capt. Barb Templeton. During the conversation, witnesses told police, Brown was playing with a knife and snorting the depressant Xanax.
Police did not release the name of Brown's aunt, nor did they release the names of the witnesses. Some of them were relatives of Brown's, Templeton said.
"These people all live in the same trailer park," Templeton said.
One of the witnesses told Brown not to kill Wiggins, according to an arrest report, but Brown ended the conversation at about 10 p.m. Friday by saying he had to leave to "take care of some business." Police said he then told witnesses Saturday morning that "the job was done."
Police estimated Wiggins was stabbed about 10:40 p.m.
Officers received a 911 call Friday night about a man who was bleeding in the trailer park at 40110 U.S. 19 N.
When they arrived, they found Wiggins inside his home there with more than 100 puncture wounds to the neck, face, head and hands from "an unknown instrument." He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wiggins' uncle, Ray, said Sunday he was shocked when he heard of his nephew's death.
"He was a great fisherman," said Ray Wiggins, 70, of Lake Wales. "He also liked to hunt, you know, guy things like that."
Paul Wiggins, who grew up in Clearwater, was incarcerated three times between 1996 and 2003 for offenses that included aggravated battery and cocaine possession.
"He had some problems with drinking and drugs," Ray Wiggins said. "He would fight in a heartbeat if someone pushed him into it."
Brown also has a criminal history, including a 2007 conviction for aggravated battery in Palm Beach County, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.
He was arrested Saturday night and was being held Sunday at the Pinellas County Jail.
Wiggins' mother, Odessa, declined comment when reached by phone at her Largo home.
"It's pretty rough on her," Ray Wiggins said Sunday. "I know that he (Paul Wiggins) was down to visit his mother last weekend. She said they had quite a long talk. She said he went down to see her pretty much every weekend."
Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Will Hobson can be reached at (727) 445-4167, or firstname.lastname@example.org.