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Third suspect arrested in beating, robbery of Moon Lake man

After a week of searching, authorities have arrested Vanessa Musson, the third suspect in the brutal beating of a disabled Moon Lake man. U.S. Marshals and Tampa police found her Friday in a Tampa home.

Musson, 26, was the final suspect being sought in the Sept. 14 attack. Pasco deputies say she joined Bobbie Jo Curtis and Curtis' 16-year-old son, Bryan, to beat and rob a man Curtis had been dating.

Reports said Joseph Bruno, a 44-year-old man from Moon Lake who has multiple sclerosis, met Curtis, 40, on singlesnet.com. She told him she had been evicted from her house and had no place to stay, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.

Four days after they met, he asked her to move in with him.

Family members warned against the arrangement, but Bruno assured them everything would be fine.

A week later, the Curtises and Musson tied Bruno to a chair in his dining room and bludgeoned him with a baseball bat and a hammer, a sheriff's report states.

They pressed a gun barrel to his head and forced his safe combination and bank account information out of him, the report states.

Musson and the Curtises took several of Bruno's guns and a flat screen TV, reports state.

While they were loading the loot into Bruno's van, deputies said, a 69-year-old neighbor, David Ragon, came to the house to see what was going on. They took the hammer and bat to him, too, reports state, leaving him with a concussion and broken jaw. Then, they left.

Curtis and her son were arrested last weekend on charges of attempted murder, unlawful imprisonment, grand theft auto and aggravated battery. Bruno's van turned up in New Port Richey a few days later, deputies said.

Musson had vanished.

Musson, whose distinctive "Nessa" arm tattoo was repeatedly featured in reports, caught the attention of U.S. Marshals as the search continued.

Deputies speculated that Musson might have bleached or cut her hair to change her appearance (it turns out she did neither).

Sheriff Chris Nocco glared into TV news camera lenses Tuesday and addressed her:

"If Vanessa's listening to this," he said, "let it end now. Let it end peacefully."

She did not turn herself in, but officers took her into custody Friday without incident.

Her charges include attempted murder, false imprisonment, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, grand theft and grand theft of a motor vehicle. She remains in the Hillsborough County jail without bail.

Ragon was released from the hospital early in the week, deputies said. Bruno was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. Updates on his condition were not available Friday.

Alex Orlando can be reached at aorlando@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6247.

Third suspect arrested in beating, robbery of Moon Lake man 09/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, September 21, 2012 8:57pm]
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