Advertisement
  1. News

Burglary binge in Citrus, Hernando counties leaves one suspect dead

Timothy Stone of Dunnellon was jailed on a charge of armed burglary.
Published Jan. 23, 2014

BROOKSVILLE — Johnathan Braden crossed paths twice with armed residents during a string of burglaries Tuesday, investigators say.

The first time, at a home on Flavian Road just south of the Citrus-Hernando line, Braden fled on foot with his accomplice.

Braden, 27, didn't survive the second encounter, three hours later and about a mile away.

About 1:45 p.m., Braden broke into a home on S Old Jones Road in Citrus County and got into a struggle with Theron Dunn, who lives on the property, according to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. Dunn fatally shot Braden, investigators say.

Dunn, 37, didn't have a phone, so he posted a message on Facebook asking someone to call 911. Deputies arrived and found Braden of Crystal River dead at the scene.

Dunn has not been charged. The case will be turned over to the State Attorney's Office for review.

"All indications are that this was self-defense," said Citrus sheriff's spokeswoman Heather Yates.

The shooting brought a violent end to a brief run of burglaries by Braden and Timothy David Stone, 29, of Dunnellon, authorities said.

About 10:45 Tuesday morning, the Hernando Sheriff's Office received a call from the home of Matt and Bobbi Lynn Morgan.

Bobbi Lynn Morgan told deputies she heard a noise, looked outside and saw two men rummaging through belongings on the porch of their home at 16199 Flavian Road, a Hernando sheriff's reports state. Both men were dressed in camouflage. One was holding a knife and tried to open the front door.

Matt Morgan went to get his gun as his wife watched one of the men grab a pair of Nike sneakers and a duffel bag. When Matt Morgan returned with the gun, the men fled.

Neighbors in the rural, wooded area reported seeing men dressed in camouflage running through yards. Investigators say the two men burglarized a vehicle on Friendly Road before they separated.

Deputies found Stone near the intersection of Friendly and Spring Prairie roads. He admitted stealing the Nikes on his feet, deputies say. Deputies also found a knife in the nearby woods.

Meanwhile, Braden headed north, crossing a field and the county line, to 13347 S Old Jones Road. Dunn lives in an apartment on the property and his parents live in a separate house.

Dunn heard glass breaking at his parents' house, armed himself with a gun and went to investigate. He entered the home and found Braden pointing a gun he'd found in the house, deputies say.

Dunn convinced Braden to put the gun down and leave, but as Braden was walking out, deputies say, he punched Dunn in the face and started choking him from behind. Dunn grabbed his gun and shot Braden.

A man on the property waved a visiting reporter away on Wednesday. A woman who answered a phone listed for a Dunn family member said, "We're not talking to anybody."

Stone was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on a charge of armed burglary and remained there Wednesday in lieu of $50,000. He has served three stints in prison for grand theft, bringing contraband into a detention facility and simple battery.

Braden had two arrests in Florida on charges of reckless driving, criminal mischief and driving under the influence.

Times news researcher Natalie Watson and Bay News 9 contributed to this report.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A sign seen on the front door of Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria in March, after owner Tom Woodard stopped serving drinks with plastic straws. The St. Petersburg City Council voted 5-2 on Thursday night to ban single-use plastic straws. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    The City Council tweaked its own ordinance banning single-use plastic straws, which is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
  2. Student activists with the March For Our Lives group, founded after the Feb. 2018 Parkland shooting, hold a banner that promotes their new "peace plan" to prevent gun violence, while demonstrating in the rotunda of the state capitol building in Tallahassee. Emily L. Mahoney | Times
    The 18-year-old student director of March for Our Lives Florida said school shootings are so common they are “not shocking” anymore.
  3. Steven Currall prepares to deliver an address during his investiture as the University of South Florida's seventh president Thursday at the Yuengling Center in Tampa. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    Though he started the job in July, Steve Currall is officially installed as president on his 137th day in office.
  4. Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share for Tech Data's stock in an acquisition worth $5.4 billion. If regulators shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County, where it employs 2,000 of its 14,000 workers. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private equity firms like Apollo create wealth for pension funds, financial institutions and individual investors by buying assets that typically are sold later at a profit.
  5. Some of Tampa Bay's largest companies are being sold or are up for sale. Times files and Bloomin' Brands
    Tech Data is just the latest in a growing list of public companies bought up by out-of-state firms.
  6. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets local officials at Dunedin High School on Oct. 7, 2019, part of a swing around the state to announce his plan to boost starting teacher pay in Florida to $47,500. He revealed a related teacher bonus plan on Nov. 14 in Vero Beach. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The new plan would replace the controversial Best and Brightest model that DeSantis had called confusing.
  7. The "#9pmroutine" is a core social media feature for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Now, the agency has a copyright on it. Facebook
    Copyrighting a key part of the agency’s social media presence isn’t meant to limit its reach, the office said, but rather to stop bad actors.
  8. USF student Gabriela Young is the owner of Earth and Ivory, an online jewelry business with items made out of clay.  [Special to the Times | Sarah Foster] SARAH FOSTER  |  Special to the Times | @sarahtheartiste
    Gabriela Young went from selling bracelets to friends to making clay wares for customers with her business, Earth and Ivory.
  9. Chief Veterinarian Mallory Offner examines a female rescue puppy at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Tampa. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    With 250 of the pooches ready for adoption, each potential puppy parent has a 1-in-4 shot at getting picked in today’s drawing.
  10. Eight vehicles were involved in a fiery and fatal crash late Wednesday that left two people dead and shut down northbound Interstate 75 bridging Hillsborough and Pasco counties, authorities said. The driver of the white van pictured above, George Pagan of Tampa, said he saw the semi-trailer truck, left, sliding sideways toward him in his rearview mirror before impact. Pasco Fire Rescue
    The chain-reaction crash that closed the northbound lanes near the Pasco-Hillsborough line started when a semi-trailer truck driver didn’t stop for traffic, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement