Thursday, May 24, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg Police arrest wife in husband's fatal stabbing

ST. PETERSBURG — She stabbed her husband, police said, because he took a call from another woman.

Russell and Sharon Denise Byrd were drinking with a friend about 2 a.m. Tuesday inside their apartment. The friend, Juan McQueen, 43, told police they began to argue when Russell answered his phone.

Sharon threatened to kill him, police said, then she went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed him in the upper body.

McQueen told police he thought it was a joke until the man fell to the ground. He held onto Russell and performed CPR, but the man stopped breathing. Russell, who was 44, died of his wounds.

The woman on the phone, police said, was his sister.

"My brother died in my arms, man," McQueen said. "She killed my brother cold-blooded."

Sharon, 46, left the apartment after the stabbing. McQueen thought she was going outside to direct the paramedics, but she never returned.

On Tuesday afternoon, she called police from a lawyer's office and announced she wanted to turn herself in. Police arrested her on a second-degree murder charge.

Her lawyer declined comment.

Both Sharon and Russell Byrd have lengthy criminal records that include multiple drug and fraud convictions. Records show that Russell Byrd was charged in 1988 with being an accessory to a homicide, but the charge was later dropped.

The couple married five years ago in Bradenton, records show.

Neighbors who gathered Tuesday on the front steps of the three-story apartment building where the stabbing happened said the couple had lived there for only a short time. Address records show that both lived in Manatee County for several years before moving to St. Petersburg.

"They were cool people," said Precious Jules, 16, who said the couple had a daughter with whom she attended school. They were known to argue, she said, but never enough to attract police attention.

Chatting with other neighbors Tuesday night, Jules speculated about what might have led Sharon to attack Russell. To do so over his talking to another woman seemed too senseless, she said.

"It had to be something more than that," Jules said.

Times news researcher Carolyn Edds and staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Laura C. Morel can be reached at (727)893-8713, or [email protected].

Comments

Woman hit, killed while crossing road in Tampa

TAMPA — A pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing N 40th Street near E Hanlon Street on Wednesday night, according to Tampa police.The crash took place just before 8 p.m. The driver was heading north on 40th Street before strikin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

After a prominent Hillsborough County developer died last month in North Carolina, word spread it was a heart attack that claimed his life.But records from that state show the death of William "Bill" Bishop was much more complicated.His 16-year-old s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Coast Guard suspends search for man missing from Tampa cruise

Coast Guard suspends search for man missing from Tampa cruise

The Coast Guard announced Wednesday night that it has suspended the search for a man who was reported to have gone overboard from a cruise ship that left Tampa.Officials aboard the Carnival Paradise told the Coast Guard on Tuesday morning that Brian ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — The two cars raced each other along Bayshore Boulevard just before noon, witnesses told police. One was a black 2018 Mustang. The other a gold Nissan. They sped side-by-side, trading the lead, police said, despite the traffic and pedestrians ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sinkhole opens up near Bayfront Health’s Brooksville hospital

BROOKSVILLE — A large sinkhole opened up by Bayfront Health Brooksville hospital in a water retention pond between State Road 50 and the hospital’s parking lot, according to a hospital spokeswoman.The sinkhole poses no threat to hospital buildings, e...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Clearwater deputy fire chief resigns as report on sick leave abuse is released

Clearwater deputy fire chief resigns as report on sick leave abuse is released

CLEARWATER — A months-long probe into abuse of sick leave within the fire department concluded this week with the resignation of a deputy chief and the release of an internal review.The city paid $93,816 in unearned or unauthorized sick time, benefit...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Wrong-way driver, 87, dies in head-on collision, FHP says

Wrong-way driver, 87, dies in head-on collision, FHP says

BROOKSVILLE— An 87-year-old wrong-way driver died Tuesday night when she collided head-on with an oncoming pick-up truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 8:50 p.m. on Sunshine Grove Road near Webster Street.Patri...
Updated: 9 hours ago
FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

A woman state authorities say was scammed out of $480,000 by two of her employees is an heiress to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Tuesday that the victim in the case is Helen Rich, 69, formerly Hel...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Carlton: Lowering the American flag for the newly dead at school — again

Carlton: Lowering the American flag for the newly dead at school — again

In a scene repeated at public buildings across the country, the American flag in front of the library outside my office window was lowered to half-staff this week.This time for 10 dead in Texas.In February, the American flag was similarly half-staff ...
Published: 05/23/18
Largo man broke into jewelry store, cut himself on glass and bled all over everything, police say

Largo man broke into jewelry store, cut himself on glass and bled all over everything, police say

A Largo man was arrested Monday after police said he broke into the front door of a jewelry store and stole $10,000 in jewelry, but cut himself in the process and left blood all over the store.Police arrested Jaime Williams, 31, on a charge of burgla...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18