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Former Riverview paramedic gets 30 years in girlfriend’s death

Thomas Elmore claimed his former girlfriend’s death was from suicide. A jury last month decided it was murder.
Thomas Elmore said his girlfriend died of a suicide, but investigators determined it was murder.
Thomas Elmore said his girlfriend died of a suicide, but investigators determined it was murder. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Mar. 26
Updated Mar. 26

TAMPA — A judge sentenced a former Riverview paramedic to 30 years in prison Friday, a month after a jury found him guilty of his former girlfriend’s murder.

Thomas Elmore denied that he shot Tamara Naish, claiming instead that he found her after she died by suicide in their home.

A jury deliberated more than eight hours in February before finding Elmore guilty of second-degree murder.

Elmore said nothing before receiving the sentence. But his attorney, Patrick Courtney, said he maintains his innocence and plans to appeal his conviction.

“Obviously, the jury struggled with this for a very long time,” Courtney said. “I think that goes to the weight and sufficiency of the evidence.”

Assistant State Attorney Susan Lopez noted that Naish was shot twice, and that Elmore, a trained medical professional, didn’t report her death for more than a day.

“He did not call 911,” the prosecutor said. “He was 911 and yet he failed to render aid to her.”

Related: Hillsborough deputies arrest Riverview man in shooting death of girlfriend

Elmore, 47, contacted Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies through his attorney on Sept. 22, 2016, to report Naish’s death.

Deputies found Naish, a 48-year-old nurse, in the master bathroom of the couple’s Riverview home. She had gunshot wounds in her neck and near her left eye, according to court records. A black pistol was in her left hand.

A medical examiner determined she had been dead for at least 36 hours. A gunshot wound through her left hand was deemed to have been a defensive wound.

Elmore acknowledged that he did not immediately report her death because he said he was upset and did not know what to do, according to court records.

In an interview with investigators, Elmore said he and Naish had gotten into an argument the night she died. He said he left to take his dog to his parents’ home, according to court records. When he returned, he said he found Naish dead on the floor of their master bathroom.

A medical examiner and homicide detectives concluded that the death was not consistent with a suicide.