Sunday, January 21, 2018
Public safety

Dade City teenager accused of murdering sister's boyfriend

DADE CITY — Adan David Diaz Jr. had told people what he would do if his sister's boyfriend came to their house again.

On Friday night, authorities say, the boyfriend came and Diaz kept his word.

Juan Quesada-Acuna, 32, was sitting with his girlfriend inside a 2012 white Nissan Altima, parked in the dirt driveway at 40214 River Road. He was on the passenger side.

Diaz saw him. The 17-year-old boy, according to investigators, went to his father's Ford F-150 pickup, took out a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and loaded the magazine. He chambered a round and walked to the car.

Without Quesada-Acuna speaking a word to him, authorities say, Diaz raised the weapon and fired multiple rounds through the passenger window.

The bullets struck Quesada-Acuna in the chest. He died soon after.

Pasco County Sheriff's detectives say the teenager later admitted to the killing.

He faces a charge of first-degree murder and is being held in the Land O'Lakes Detention Center.

Diaz will turn 18 later this month, but with a round face and bulbous nose, he looks much younger. In his mugshot, the Pasco High School student is wearing a black Hawaiian shirt imprinted with red flowers.

On Saturday morning, a half-dozen family members stood around benches in the back yard. They declined to be interviewed.

Out front, shreds of yellow crime-scene tape still hung from the chain-link fence surrounding the modest home. A pair of broken windows were patched with duct tape and what looked like a plastic sheet.

The property sits in one of Pasco County's most rural neighborhoods, just west of the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area.

Gun violence has visited this home at least once before.

One night in February 2012, two brothers — Jose Contreras, then 24, and Adrian Contreras, then 31 — were arguing with Diaz's father, Adan Diaz Flores, in the home's driveway.

One or both of them, authorities say, shot him twice in the head. Though initially in critical condition, Flores, now 51, survived.

At the time, Sheriff Chris Nocco said the Contreras brothers were feuding with Flores' son-in-law, and the fight somehow led to the home on River Road. Flores also shot at the brothers, but it was unclear whether he hit them.

Nocco didn't say what prompted the fight.

Pasco deputies went on a manhunt for the men but, according to court records and the Sheriff's Office website, neither was ever arrested. Agency spokesman Kevin Doll said he didn't know if anyone had been charged in the shooting.

He declined comment when asked if the two incidents were related, saying detectives had not told him of any possible motives.

Quesada-Acuna lived in an affordable housing complex about 10 miles north of where he died.

On Saturday, nearly a dozen people sat quietly in plastic chairs beneath the shade of the small apartment's front wall.

Two women paced the front lawn, talking into their cell phones. One appeared to wipe tears from her eyes.

No one wished to speak about Quesada-Acuna, but one young man with dark sunglasses and arms covered in tattoos stood from his chair.

"He was a good guy," the man said. "That's all I'm going to tell you."

Times researcher Natalie A. Watson contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

WEEKI WACHEE — The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday investigated the death of a Hillsborough County man in the Eagle’s Nest, an underwater network of caves where at least 11 others have died since 1981.Even experienced divers have lost th...
Published: 01/20/18

Bicyclist dead after being hit by car in Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — A bicyclist is dead after he was hit by a car just before 10 a.m. Saturday morning, police said.Police were still investigating the crash in the 8700 block of 49th Street N late Saturday morning.Police shut down northbound 49th Street...
Published: 01/20/18

Motorcyclist crashes into Subaru while trying to flee Pinellas deputies

CLEARWATER — A 21-year-old fleeing from deputies on a motorcycle crashed into car while speeding away from a cruiser Friday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Michael Brown, of Clearwater, was recklessly driving his 2016...
Published: 01/20/18

Clearwater man in critical condition after medical episode while driving

DUNEDIN — A 60-year-old Clearwater man who likely had a medical episode while driving is now in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after rolling over his car, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. A Largo police off...
Published: 01/20/18

Four people linked to Tampa carjacking captured hours later

TAMPA — It took officers just 27 minutes Friday night to capture four people who they said stole a car from its owner.The incident started outside the Ybor Coffee Shop at 5:45 a.m. A group approached the driver as he sat in his 2010 Toyota Corolla. T...
Published: 01/19/18

Florida National Guard soldier killed, five injured in Sebring crash

SEBRING — A soldier with the Florida National Guard was killed and five others were hospitalized after a multi-vehicle crash on Friday, officials said.The crash took place at about 1 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Hammock Road.The soldiers ...
Published: 01/19/18
Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

NEW PORT RICHEY — Two New Port Richey men face charges after Pasco County deputies say they stole about $11,000 worth of cellphones and cellphone equipment at a Metro PCS store on State Road 54.Robert Jackson and Ronald Hartshorn were arrested Wednes...
Published: 01/19/18
Autopsy: drugs found in MLB star Roy Halladay’s system after plane crash

Autopsy: drugs found in MLB star Roy Halladay’s system after plane crash

When former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash in November, he had amphetamines, morphine and the sleep aid zolpidem in his system, according to an autopsy report. Halladay, 40, died from blunt force trauma with drownin...
Published: 01/19/18
Former youth football president accused of stealing $29,000 from Pinellas league

Former youth football president accused of stealing $29,000 from Pinellas league

PALM HARBOR — The former president of a local youth football league is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the group and using it in part to buy a mobile home.According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies on Tuesday arrested L...
Published: 01/19/18
Rapper Kodak Black arrested in Florida on grand theft, other charges

Rapper Kodak Black arrested in Florida on grand theft, other charges

FORT LAUDERDALE — Rapper Kodak Black has been ordered held without bail in Florida on seven felony charges that include child neglect and drug possession.The Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested the 20-year-old rapper, whose real name is Dieuson Octave,...
Published: 01/19/18