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Three arrested in Orange County in connection to New Port Richey homicide

A group came from Central Florida to Pasco County with intentions to rob.
Krystal Koren, Christopher Neff and Kevin Scott Barnes Jr. were arrested in connection to a New Port Richey homicide in late April.
Krystal Koren, Christopher Neff and Kevin Scott Barnes Jr. were arrested in connection to a New Port Richey homicide in late April. [ Courtesy of Orange County Government ]
Published May 10
Updated May 10

Three Orange County residents face homicide charges related to the death of a 52-year-old man in New Port Richey, according to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.

Christopher Neff, 38, Krystal Kerri Koren, 37, brother and sister, and Kevin Scott Barnes Jr., 31, were arrested on charges of murder for the death of Matthew Parrish, who was found shot at a New Port Richey Sunoco on April 25. All three remain in jail in Orange County while they await extradition to Pasco County, officials said.

Related: Deputies seeking information about fatal shooting in New Port Richey

Parrish was found at the Sunoco along Moon Lake Road, but deputies said he was shot at a nearby home on Telford Street. According to a sworn complaint from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, a woman who lives on the property saw Parrish stumble into the building with a gunshot wound. He told the woman “Neff shot me.”

Parrish had told her days before that he was expecting Neff to come by for a drug deal, deputies said. He said he knew Neff from his time in prison.

Neff was released from prison in January 2020, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. He was sentenced on charges including robbery with a deadly weapon after he was accused of beating a 67-year-old Clearwater man on his way home from a casino in 2010.

Deputies searched through Parrish’s phone and found messages with Neff discussing a drug deal worth $5,000. Neff planned to buy 12 ounces of methamphetamine, according to the complaint.

A group of four — Neff, Koren, Barnes and Neff’s girlfriend Alexis Johnston — came to New Port Richey from Orange County with a plan to rob Parrish, according to the Sheriffs’ Office. Deputies interviewed Johnston from the Orange County Jail where she was held on a burglary charge.

Johnston, 22, told deputies that she and Barnes waited outside while Koren and Neff went into the trailer, then they heard a pop. Both ran out yelling for the group to get in the car and go. When Johnston asked what happened, Neff said he fired a warning shot and took the drugs, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies identified the car’s plates on April 27 from toll records on the Veteran’s Expressway. They were able to then identify Barnes, who was also arrested on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery on April 28. Koren and Neff were arrested on May 3.

Barnes said Neff asked him to buy a gun for him, a revolver Barnes got for $20, and said he would be paid in a few ounces of meth for driving the group to Pasco County to conduct the robbery. He told deputies that Neff said he shot Parrish in the shoulder, and that Neff and Koren demanded Barnes burn his car.

They also took a phone Neff had been using and dropped it into the dirt to get rid of it, according to the warrant.

Though Parrish was shot at a home, a group tried to drive him to get help then stopped at the Sunoco where he was found dead, according to the sworn complaint.