TAMPA — Leon Stevenson Jr. passed by a hospital Wednesday morning to drive his girlfriend, who wasn't moving or breathing, to his mother for help.
That girlfriend, Nakysha Hamilton, 23, died of head injuries she suffered when Stevenson choked and hit her during an early morning fight over their bills, authorities said.
Stevenson, 28, admitted to grabbing Hamilton by her neck and slamming her to the floor of their apartment at 12802 N 58 St., according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
He beat her before he gave her a shower and put her to bed, the investigation found.
He noticed she was having trouble breathing, authorities said. He went to sleep anyway.
When he woke up at 8 a.m., she wasn't moving, deputies said.
So he loaded Hamilton in his truck and took her from their apartment to his mother's duplex more than 3 miles away at 1515 E 139th Ave. — passing University Community Hospital along the way.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said there was no indication his mother had a background in health care.
When Stevenson arrived at her home, his mother found her unresponsive in the passenger seat of the truck, she later told deputies.
She demanded Stevenson bring Hamilton into her home, and she attempted CPR and called for paramedics.
Hamilton died of impact to the head with subdural hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage — or bleeding around the brain — according to the Hillsborough County medical examiner.
Stevenson met with a detective at N Nebraska Avenue and E Paris Street and agreed to an interview.
He was later arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Stevenson was being held without bail Wednesday night in a Hillsborough jail.
Records show Stevenson had served a two-year prison sentence on cocaine charges in 2004.
He also has been charged with domestic violence three times since 2008 — twice for domestic battery by strangulation, records show. But none of the cases ever came to trial.
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.