Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two arrests made in Riverview man's slaying

TAMPA — Carol Simons thought she'd feel relieved when the men accused of killing her only child were captured.

But when Hillsborough County detectives told her two young men, ages 17 and 18, were behind bars, she felt no joy.

"I just got sick to my stomach," Simons said Thursday in a phone interview from her home in Michigan.

Michael Denhof was found dead May 16 at his Riverview home, 13524 Prestwick Drive, a bullet wound to his upper body.

Weeks earlier, Denhof had moved to the residence with Labronx Louis Bailey, 18, and Heavy Patrell Shavers, 17, his mom said. Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said deputies believe Bailey was living there, but had a different address for Shavers.

But when Denhof phoned Simons on Mother's Day, he told her he wasn't happy with the situation and planned to move out.

He told her not to worry.

The day before he died, she said, he'd packed his belongings with a plan to move the next day. He'd found a new place and had enough cash on him to pay for the deposit, first month's rent and maybe even a car he had his eye on, Simons said.

But that ended sometime May 16. A neighbor heard shots in the morning, Simons said, but Denhof wasn't found until afternoon.

Denhof was a happy kid, Simons said, "always pounding on something and singing."

He'd come to Florida at age 18 with his parents' blessing after falling for a girl he'd met on the Internet and visited a few times. The two remained sweethearts and even talked about marrying one day, Simons said.

A husky 6-footer, Denhof liked to joke about how pretty he was. He took a couple of showers a day, got his beard professionally trimmed and favored designer clothes.

Simons called him "Mr. Bling," but she worries his flashy attitude and trusting demeanor might have lured in the bad guys.

Shavers and Bailey were taken into custody Wednesday.

Shavers is charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm. He gave deputies an address of 11168 Creek Haven Drive in Riverview. Bailey, now of 12201 Creighton Place, is charged with two counts of accessory after the fact, one for murder and one for armed robbery.

Shavers, a minor, has been taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center. Bailey is being held without bail at Orient Road Jail.

Last week, about 200 people attended Denhof's funeral in his native Grand Rapids.

"I've cried a thousand tears," Simons said. And, with the arrests, she can't help but think about the suspects' mothers, too.

"There's no justice in this," she said. "I'm so sorry for their families and what they have ahead to go through. This is premeditated murder — this ain't no joke."

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3383.

Two arrests made in Riverview man's slaying 05/29/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 30, 2008 12:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Duterte declares martial rule in besieged south Philippines

    World

    MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Wednesday that he'll be harsh in enforcing martial law in his country's south as he abruptly left Moscow to deal with a crisis at home sparked by a Muslim extremist siege on a city, where militants burned buildings overnight and are feared to have …

    Policemen watches vehicles at a checkpoint in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, May 24, 2017 as the Philippine National Police is placed under full alert status following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao southern Philippines. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Wednesday that he'll be harsh in enforcing martial law in his country's south as he abruptly left Moscow to deal with a crisis at home sparked by a Muslim extremist siege on a city, where militants burned buildings overnight and are feared to have taken hostages. [Associated Press]
  2. Manchester police say they have made three more arrests in concert bombing

    World

    BREAKING: Manchester police say they have made three more arrests over pop concert bombing. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

    PREVIOUS STORY:

    People light candles after a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England, Tuesday May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night. [Associated Press]
  3. Who will headline the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa?

    Blogs

    The NFL announced Tuesday that Tampa will host Super Bowl LV in 2021, a result of stadium construction delays in Los Angeles.

    Taylor Swift performed at Raymond James Stadium in 2015. Could she return for Super Bowl LV in 2021?
  4. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  5. Trump says 'we can use peace' during meeting with Pope Francis

    Religion

    VATICAN CITY — President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican City on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.

    Pope Francis meets with President Donald Trump on the occasion of their private audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. [Associated Press]