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Homeless man who died in Largo in May was drunk and drowned in ditch

LARGO — A medical examiner's report released Tuesday shows that a homeless man whose body was found in a drainage ditch in early May was drunk when he drowned.

Ronald Scott Holmes, 43, was found dead near 14840 49th St. N, just south of the Bayside Bridge, around 7:40 a.m. May 4. Holmes was found on his side in about a foot and a half of water with his head and upper body in a drainage pipe, according to the report.

Holmes was a transient who had been a client of Pinellas Safe Harbor, the homeless shelter for nonviolent offenders near the Pinellas County Jail, said Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda.

He had been released from the jail less than 48 hours before his body was found, after an arrest on a charge of failure to appear in court on a misdemeanor, according to Pinellas court records.

According to the report, Holmes was a chronic alcoholic. Alcohol intoxication was listed as a contributing cause to his death.

Holmes had a lengthy criminal history of burglary, theft and dealing in stolen property arrests dating back to 1990. In recent years, he racked up a string of misdemeanor arrests on charges related to drinking alcohol in public and panhandling.

Homeless man who died in Largo in May was drunk and drowned in ditch 08/30/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 5:30pm]

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