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Police say roommate killed man

Published Oct. 12, 2005

The person who fatally shot Inverness resident Joseph Murray recently in Miami had lived with Murray for more than a year in Inverness, Metro Dade police said.

The state attorney's office is considering whether to charge Ressie Lee Lamb in the slaying of Murray, who was shot twice in the head during an argument last Friday, Detective Juan Delcastillo said.

Lamb, 27, told investigators that he fatally shot Murray, 33, at the Miami apartment where Murray was living temporarily. Murray had been in Miami about 10 days selling recreational vehicles for Gist RV/Auto Sales and Service in Inverness. It is unclear why Lamb was in Miami.

Lamb and Murray had shared a two-bedroom apartment at 503 Hunting Lodge Drive in Inverness, police said.

Delcastillo said Lamb told police he shot Murray in self-defense about 11:30 p.m. and then telephoned the police.

Members of Murray's family said they are outraged that Lamb hasn't been charged. They say Miami police have told them that the killing was sexually related and possibly done in self-defense.

"They're saying my brother made sexual advances toward his roommate," which led to the shooting, said Patricia Giannone. "His statement is that he was sexually approached. I find that hard to believe because they've lived together for a year."

Josephine DiBartolo, Murray's mother, said Miami police told her it would be nearly two weeks before they could come to Citrus County to see the apartment where the men lived.

Family members say Murray was a hardworking salesman who had established high sales records at several car dealerships.

Family members said they think Miami police aren't taking the case seriously. They have retained a private investigator and a criminal attorney.

"We feel there's a prejudice," Anthony Murray said. "Our brother was killed execution style. There's no way it could have been self-defense, the way he was shot."