Pasco man indicted on murder, attempted murder charges, will face death penalty

Grieving family members are split on whether they’d like to see Steven Laporta, 36, put to death if convicted.
Steven Laporta, 36, was booked into Pasco County Jail on May 18. He was indicted on five charges Friday, including first-degree murder.
Steven Laporta, 36, was booked into Pasco County Jail on May 18. He was indicted on five charges Friday, including first-degree murder. [ Pasco County Jail ]
Published June 9

A Brooksville man accused of a shooting that killed a 71-year-old man and a 9-year-old pit bull and injured the man’s 45-year-old son and 15-year-old grandson was indicted by a grand jury Friday, court records show.

Steven Laporta, 36, was indicted on one count of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree attempted murder, one count of aggravated cruelty to animals and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the document.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office will pursue the death penalty. State Attorney Bruce Bartlett said significant aggravating factors, including that a young teen was shot while asleep in his room, led to the decision to seek the death penalty for Laporta.

But Derek Redmond, one of the three people shot, told the Tampa Bay Times he wants a life sentence for Laporta.

“Death penalty is the easy way out,” Redmond said. “I want to be the puppet master for the rest of his life in prison.”

Redmond identified Laporta — a family friend who was visiting at the home that night — as the shooter when Pasco County deputies arrived at his home in Spring Hill in the early morning hours of May 18.

The incident started the night of May 17 with Laporta injecting himself with methamphetamine in Derek Redmond’s bedroom, according to the documents. After taking the drugs, deputies said Laporta referred to himself as “God” and the “angel of death.”

Later, Laporta shot Redmond’s dog C.J. with a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun he kept in his waistband, killing her, before Redmond and his father, John, angrily told him to leave, Derek Redmond said. Deputies said he shot the dog for “no reason.”

Laporta left but quickly came back and shot Derek Redmond in the head twice, according to the arrest report.

After shooting Derek Redmond, Laporta briefly wrestled with 71-year-old John Redmond before shooting him six times — killing him, court documents said. He then went into the bedroom of Derek Redmond’s nephew, shooting the teen twice in the head.

Laporta then left the house. Deputies found him about a mile away, according to arrest reports.

The teenager, Chase Fisher, remains in critical condition. He remains on life support, Derek Redmond said. Family members say they don’t expect him to survive, but they hold out hope.

Shaina Baltera, a family friend of Derek Redmond, started a GoFundMe page on the family’s behalf to help cover funeral expenses and medical bills.