Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg police make arrest in home invasion killing

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have arrested a 21-year-old man in the shooting death of a 27-year-old woman during a home invasion robbery in the Jordan Park neighborhood last week.

Ronnie Betts, who police said was a transient whose last known address was in Clearwater, was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and home invasion robbery, police said.

Betts was identified as the gunman by at least two witnesses, police said.

The shooting happened at 10:45 p.m. March 23 in a small green house at 1036 19th St. S, where police said at least 16 people who were family or friends were partaking in a regular tradition of card playing and drinking. Many of the women were mothers, and several children were present, police said.

Among them was Ebony Stewart, who responded to a knock on the door. Police said Betts fired off a round from a semiautomatic pistol that struck Stewart in the upper body. Stewart, a mother of two young sons, died before paramedics arrived.

Police said Betts stepped inside and kept shooting, with people scattering everywhere. A 58-year-old woman holding an 18-month-old toddler was shot, as was a 28-year-old man. Both survived.

Another man, who has not been arrested, stood at the doorway holding an AK-47-style rifle, police said. Betts and the other man took cash out of all the women's purses before running away.

Betts was on probation for violating an order of protection in October, records show. He has previous convictions for resisting arrest, cocaine possession and battery.

The second assailant was described as black, 5 feet 10 to 6 feet 1 and 180 pounds. He had shoulder-length dreadlocks and was wearing a blue hat, blue shirt and blue shorts.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call St. Petersburg police at (727) 893-7780. Anonymous tipsters can call (727) 892-5000 or text police at (727) 420-8911.

St. Petersburg police make arrest in home invasion killing 03/29/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humilation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry announced crowd of 24,325 at Raymond James Stadium.

    Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings