Two men died Wednesday evening in a murder-suicide at New Port colony villas, a 55-and-over community near Gulf Harbors. Both men appeared to be in their 60s or 70s, Pasco Sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said, although he would not release their names until next of kin were notified. Tobin said one man shot the other man in the chest inside the home at 4922 Getner St., then shot himself in the head. The second man made it outside to his van and honked the horn to call for help, Tobin said. He was taken to community hospital in New Port Richey, where he later died.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Stuffing found near man's body
Helen Harper got up Tuesday morning and found her boyfriend hunched over on the dining room floor. Kevin Michael Morrell, 24, of Hudson, had apparently choked to death on food, sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said. An incident report said a deputy found what appeared to be stuffing on the floor near Morrell's body. Harper's mother, who owns the house where Morrell died, told a deputy that Morrell often ate in the middle of the night. Harper said in the report that Morrell had a habit of falling asleep at the dining room table.
Haynes says he was provoked
Prosecutors say he stabbed, beat and set his ex-girlfriend on fire in an attempt to kill her. Willie Andre Haynes told a jury Wednesday that he cared for Catina Washington too much, had been with her too long, to ever intentionally harm her. Yes, Haynes said, he "poked" her with a screwdriver during a fight, but only after she stabbed him in the arm with a knife. He also said Washington poured alcohol and nail polish remover on herself and started flicking a lighter, all to provoke him. But the spark found the chemicals. Washington, 34, ended up with second-degree burns and Haynes, 38, was charged. The jury is set to hear closing arguments today and begin its deliberations. If convicted of first-degree attempted murder and first-degree arson, Haynes could face up to 60 years in prison.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Questions remain on Main Street
City Council members will decide next month whether to fund Greater New Port Richey Main Street next year. The council and Main Street's board of directors discussed the program's finances and achievements for about two hours Tuesday night. Executive Director Judy DeBella Thomas could not attend, and council members had some remaining questions. Council members agreed in October to fund the program through the end of this year but withheld the rest of a $45,000 city grant because of concerns about Main Street's budget and priorities.