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In St. Petersburg shooting, murder charge dropped and new man arrested

One man spent 23 days in jail for a shooting police now say was carried out by a different man.
Dontavis Burgess has been arrested on a second-degree murder charge.
Dontavis Burgess has been arrested on a second-degree murder charge. [ Pinellas County jail ]
Published Dec. 9, 2021|Updated Dec. 10, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG — Just before he died, Logan Jay McNeil revealed to police who killed him.

He told investigators, according to arrest records, that it was Kevon Nathaniel Turner, a man he’d known since middle school. But new information that came to light since Nov. 16, when Turner was arrested on a second-degree murder charge, pointed to a different man.

On Wednesday, prosecutors dropped the charge against Turner, 26, and St. Petersburg police arrested Dontavis Burgess, 26, on the same charge. A detective wrote that he “obtained a video” of Burgess admitting to the Nov. 15 shooting.

Related: Day after Pinellas prosecutors drop murder charge, man threatens another woman, records show

Burgess’ arrest report gave few details. He was riding in the passenger seat of a red Mazda 3. The name of the driver was redacted from the report. They drove to a house, the address of which was also redacted, although police initially said McNeil was shot outside near 3110 47th Ave. S.

McNeil walked up to the driver’s side of the car, then Burgess reached over and shot him, according to the arrest report.

The report is similar to an account Turner gave during a Nov. 18 interview with the Tampa Bay Times from the Pinellas County jail.

Related: St. Pete landlord exposed himself to delivery drivers, complaints say

Turner said he and an acquaintance, whom he declined to name, had stopped to visit McNeil. While they were still in the car, the acquaintance shot McNeil and aggressively screamed at Turner to start driving. Turner didn’t know why the man shot McNeil.

”I just want to apologize for the situation,” Turner said.

He said that he never would’ve shot anyone and that everyone who knew McNeil knew he was a good guy. Turner could not be reached for comment Thursday.

He spent 23 days in the Pinellas County jail before he was released Thursday afternoon. Burgess was booked into jail Wednesday evening, where he remained Thursday in lieu of bail.

Times staff writer Josh Fiallo contributed to this report.

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