GIBSONTON — A Gibsonton teen arrested on a murder charge in March fatally stabbed his mother’s boyfriend, according to an arrest report.
Previously unreported details about the stabbing behind the arrest of 15-year-old Hunter Eargood are included in a redacted version of the arrest report provided to the Tampa Bay Times by the Hillsborough Clerk of Court. The clerk’s office had withheld the report from the public until a judge ruled on a motion by Eargood’s public defender to seal statements that could be construed as a confession.
The Times previously reported that Eargood, who turned 16 on April 25, was accused of stabbing Christopher Hambrook on the 8600 block of Honeywell Road on March 11. But the relationship between Eargood and Hambrook, along with other details of what happened that morning, were unclear.
According to the arrest report, deputies responded about 1:45 a.m. to a stabbing call at 8609 Honeywell Road, where Eargood lived with his mother Desirae Eargood. Deputies arrived to find Hambrook, 50, with at least one stab wound in his torso.
Desirae Eargood told deputies she invited her boyfriend to her house without her son’s knowledge. When Hunter Eargood realized Hambrook was there, a fight began. Desirae Eargood told investigators she heard Hambrook yell, “get him off me,” according to the report.
Another witness, Michael Patterson, told investigators that he and Desirae Eargood were able to separate Hunter Eargood and Hambrook and moved the teen to another room.
“After being separated, the defendant is able to bypass the witnesses and reengage the victim in a further physical altercation,” the report states.
Hunter Eargood spoke to responding deputies and detectives but the court clerk redacted those portions of the report under the judge’s order. The Sheriff’s Office arrested Eargood the same day on a charge of first-degree premediated murder. The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting Eargood as an adult and has charged him with second-degree murder with a weapon, a charge punishable by up to life in state prison.
After his arrest, Assistant Public Defender Assistant Public Defender Carolyn Schlemmer filed a motion asking a judge to seal portions of records in the case that include statements that could be construed as a confession. Under Florida law, such statements are exempt from public record until the criminal case is resolved.
The Times, through its attorney, intervened, calling the motion overly broad. During a May 5 hearing, Judge Michael S. Williams said he would draft an order limiting the information to be sealed to cover only material that would qualify as a confession and exempt under current law.
Records show Hunter Eargood was being held in the Hillsborough County jail on Monday in lieu of $500,000 bail.