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Spring Hill man charged in deaths of two people found at his home

SPRING HILL — David Stenger knew his son-in-law had a temper. He had seen glimpses of the violence that caused his daughter to leave the marriage.

Nothing, though, prepared Stenger for the call he got on Friday.

Craig Aaron Lede was charged with two counts of premeditated murder, accused of killing two people found in his Spring Hill home. Hernando County Sheriff's Office officials have not released the victims' names or a potential motive.

A Sheriff's Office missing person's investigation that began midday Friday led deputies to the home, Lede and the bodies. Authorities have not identified the person they were seeking.

Soon after investigators arrived about 2:30 p.m., deputies escorted Lede, handcuffed, out of the house and took him away in a cruiser.

About a year ago, the 40-year-old was nearly killed in a car accident, Stenger said. He was driving a dump truck when someone cut him off, forcing him into a canal.

His injuries were so bad, Stenger said, a helicopter flew him to a Tampa hospital.

That day, he added, Lede's collapse into prescription pill abuse began. When a doctor refused to prescribe Lede pain pills, Stenger said, he turned to a pain management clinic.

For years, neighbors say they've heard loud, intense arguments come from Lede's house at 4272 Gondolier Road.

Serge St-Leger, who lives nearby, said he often heard the screaming.

Once, he said, a woman yelled, "Stop hitting me." County records show Lede has a history of domestic violence dating back to 2008, and his father-in-law said the pill abuse intensified his problems. Lede was arrested and charged with battery in September 2010.

Soon after the accident, Stenger said, Lede struck his wife. She and their young child moved out. She also filed a restraining order against him and began the process of divorce.

Stenger quit speaking to his son-in-law after the fight, but heard two people had since moved in with Lede.

On Friday, newspapers cluttered the driveway of the home, and weeds poked through the 2-foot-high grass.

Some neighbors believed the house had been empty. Others thought it was in foreclosure.

As detectives, crime scene investigators and the medical examiner descended early Friday evening, kids on bicycles and neighbors snapping photos with cell phones crowded around the crime scene tape.

Reach John Woodrow Cox at (352) 848-1432 or jcox@sptimes.com.

Spring Hill man charged in deaths of two people found at his home 12/02/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 2, 2011 10:55pm]
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