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Three face murder charges after August home invasion shooting in Oldsmar

The victim was shot through a door and struck in the head. The robbery was over drugs, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Left to right: Jason James Botes, 32; Eric Pasquale Melucci, 34; and Kleatis D. Webb Jr., 37, all of Largo, face first-degree murder charges in an August home invasion robbery that left a man dead with a gunshot wound to the head. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Published Sep. 6
Updated Sep. 6

OLDSMAR — Three men were arrested on murder charges in an August drug-related home invasion robbery that left a man dead with a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Kleatis D. Webb Jr., 37; Eric Pasquale Melucci, 34; and Jason James Botes, 32, all of Largo, drove to a home at 3740 Shore Blvd. in Oldsmar the night of Aug. 21 near midnight. They were dressed in black, wore masks and gloves and carried AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles.

James William Knoll Jr., 35, lived at the Oldsmar address. There, a struggle broke out between Knoll and the three masked men. Knoll was fatally shot through the front door during the confrontation, deputies said. Webb, Melucci and Botesthen then drove away in a Ford F-150 pickup.

Deputies arrived at the home just after midnight on Aug. 22 and found Knoll dead.

Botes knew Knoll and the robbery attempt was over narcotics, according to detectives.

Webb was taken into custody on Thursday while Melucci and Botes were arrested Friday.

All three men face first-degree murder charges and were being held in the Pinellas County jail without bail, records show. Melucci was also wanted on an arrest warrant for cocaine possession, and Botes faces a charge of driving with a suspended or revoked license.

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