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Argument leads to fatal stabbing in Tampa

Published Feb. 7, 2016

TAMPA — An argument on a stretch of Nebraska Avenue left one man dead late Friday, Tampa police said.

The victim, who has not yet been identified by police, died of a stab wound to his torso.

Donnie Lee Mathis, 45, was charged with second-degree murder, a felony.

According to police, the men crossed paths on Nebraska Avenue after the victim saw Mathis push a woman into a puddle. The victim came over and scolded Mathis for mistreating a woman, according to the police report. He and the woman walked away.

Mathis was enraged. He went to his home — a boarding house in the neighborhood — grabbed an object from the kitchen and went back out on the street. He ran toward the victim and the woman.

The victim prepared for a fight. He swung and missed.

That's when Mathis pulled out a knife. The victim was stabbed only once, according to the police report. He staggered up the street to the parking lot of a Checkers restaurant, where he was later found by police.

Mathis, meanwhile, went back to the boarding house. He barged in on his roommate trying to enter the bathroom.

"Hold up," Mathis said, according to the police report. "I need to get in there and wash the blood off this knife."

Later that night, a police officer saw Mathis running along Nebraska Avenue. Mathis tried to hide, but was taken into custody.

He later acknowledged "sticking" the victim, and going home to clean the knife, according to the arrest report.

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