Sunday, December 17, 2017
Public safety

Victim in Clearwater murder-suicide was denied restraining order

CLEARWATER — In March, Ingrid Agbebaku obtained a temporary restraining order against her husband, Eugene, arguing he had become dangerously unstable following his February arrest in a prostitution sting. Last month, a judge dissolved that order, saying Ingrid hadn't offered sufficient evidence it was needed.

On Tuesday, police say, Eugene Agbebaku, 33, broke into a Clearwater condominium where Ingrid was staying and shot her to death with a Russian-made assault rifle before killing himself.

The shootings occurred around 3:45 a.m. in a condominium complex on Abbey Crescent Lane, where Ingrid was staying with her grandmother. Authorities say after Eugene shot Ingrid, 32, he crossed the street and killed himself in front of Ingrid's parents' home.

The couple, who owned a house together in Wesley Chapel, had been scheduled to appear in divorce court the same day. Clearwater spokeswoman Joelle Castelli said they had two children.

Gerges Hanna, who has lived next door to the shooting scene for about six months, said he bolted into the street after hearing gunshots and found the couple's two children, ages 5 and 22 months, standing outside crying.

Hanna said Ingrid seemed "fine" when he and his family had dessert and drinks with her Sunday. "We talked about work," he said. "She was okay."

He added, weeping, "I can't imagine that she's killed."

Ingrid, listed as a student in court records, sought the domestic-violence restraining order against Eugene in Pasco County, asserting he had slipped into a downward spiral after he was caught in a prostitution crackdown in February by the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said Eugene, a UPS driver, solicited an undercover female deputy for sex and asked not to wear a condom.

Detectives said he later told them that he "wanted to contract a disease" and "admitted to being a sex addict who solicits prostitutes three to four times a week for unprotected sex."

In late February, just after his arrest, Eugene tried to kill himself by sitting in his car in the garage with the engine running, according to Ingrid's petition. She said he talked after that about suicide or leaving the country, saying "it would be best that our children didn't know him."

She said he was also briefly admitted to a mental-health treatment facility, only to return and break into the family home, destroying a television and cutting wires to the security system.

"I am afraid that his mental instability will harm us in the future," Ingrid wrote.

After reviewing her petition, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa dissolved the restraining order on May 7.

In a statement Tuesday evening responding to questions about the case from the Tampa Bay Times, Siracusa said, "While my heart goes out to the victim's family, and I fully understand their grief, I am bound by the laws of the state of Florida when I am asked to rule on these requests for injunctions." He declined to discuss the specific inadequacies in Ingrid's request.

Despite the couple's troubled history, Ingrid's relatives and neighbors said Tuesday that they were shocked by the outburst of violence on the normally quiet street off McMullen-Booth Road.

Hermogenes Diaz, Ingrid's uncle, said he worked out at the gym with her on Monday afternoon.

"She never imagined what would happen," Diaz said.

Mirdala Toledo, cousin of the dead woman's mother, called Ingrid "a very sweet mother" to her young son and daughter.

Police could not confirm whether the children were present when Ingrid was shot.

Times news researcher Carolyn Edds, staff writer Lisa Buie and information from Bay News 9 contributed to this report. Laura C. Morel can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8713.

Comments

Wesley Chapel woman, 28, dies after crashing motorcycle

LUTZ — A 28-year-old motorcyclist died Sunday after she crashed near Lutz Lake Fern Road and Apian Way, Hillsborough deputies reported.Erica Kristen Rodriguez of Wesley Chapel was riding a Kawasaki motorcycle with a small group of motorcyclists eastb...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Woman, 24, hit by Land Rover, in critical condition

LARGO — A 24-year-old woman is in critical condition after she was struck by a vehicle Saturday night, police said.Khadijah Wood was walking through the parking lot of the Sandy Lane Apartment Homes on Belcher Road about 7:30 p.m.At the same time, Ju...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

A first-degree murder suspect remains at large almost a week after the fatal shooting of a Winter Haven father.The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Johnny Ray Owsley’s murder of 35-year-old Adam Thrower, called "Cook" by friends, involved Owsley’s e...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Published: 12/16/17
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning while battling a fire at a strip mall on W Waters Avenue, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the blaze started around 2:45 p.m. in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply, located at ...
Published: 12/16/17
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Published: 12/15/17
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Published: 12/15/17

Tampa bicyclist, 52, dies after being rear-ended by vehicle; no charges

TAMPA — A 52-year-old man riding a bicycle was killed early Friday when he was struck from behind by a car in Seminole Heights, according to Tampa police.The incident took place at about 12:15 a.m. Wayne Kersh, 52, was riding his bicycle in the eastb...
Published: 12/15/17
After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

TAMPA — A 46-year-old man was arrested Friday and accused of setting fire to a vacant Ybor City bathhouse hit by arson at least two other times earlier this year.Two Tampa police officers spotted smoke from the vacant building at 1512 E Eighth Ave. a...
Published: 12/15/17

FHP: Overturned pick-up slowed traffic on northbound Howard Frankland

ST. PETERSBURG — A pick-up truck towing a car onto the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge overturned and crashed on the shoulder, causing back-ups for motorists trying to get to Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident was reported...
Published: 12/15/17