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  1. News

Man found dead at home near Clearwater had been fighting with family in court

Deputies found the body of Daniel Gillespie Jr., 71, after responding about 9:30 p.m. Thursday to his home at 1506 Meadow Dale Drive off Nursery Road. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]

CLEARWATER — A man found dead in his home near Clearwater last week had been involved in a court dispute with his daughter and grandson over the family's living situation and allegations of domestic violence.

Deputies found the body of Daniel Gillespie Jr., 71, after responding about 9:30 p.m. Thursday to the home at 1506 Meadow Dale Drive.

Gillespie died of "unnatural causes," the Sheriff's Office said in a news release. No other details about the death were released.

Sheriff's Office cruisers and crime scene vans lined the quiet street off Nursery Road through the weekend. Cars passed slowly as drivers craned their necks and neighbors out walking their dogs stopped to take pictures.

According to a September court complaint, Gillespie's daughter Shannon Gillespie had moved into the home with her father but he no longer wanted her living there.

He asked her to leave, but she refused, according to the complaint. A judge sided with the elder Gillespie on Oct. 30.

In addition, the father requested domestic violence injunctions in July against his daughter and grandson, also named Daniel Gillespie. The father wrote in a petition that he had recently "come into some money" and upgraded the house with a new roof, carpet and countertops, among other improvements.

He accused his daughter of spending more than $1,000 of his money at a Home Depot, stealing his mail and bills, and messing up his room.

"She constantly brings up my past, called me a pervert and spit in my face," he wrote. "Even though my daughter is small I'm scared of her because of her temper."

His petition against his grandson listed similar accusations. He wrote that his grandson stole money from him and broke his phone.

"Unfortunately I recently came into estate sale money and have fixed house up for them for future but they want all the money for them," he wrote.

He later voluntarily dismissed both petitions.

In August, the elder Gillespie was served with a domestic violence injunction. Details are not publicly available, but Clearwater police arrested him Aug. 30 on a charge he violated the injunction while visiting a Publix supermarket on Belcher Road.

A judge ordered him to stay away from his daughter and wear a GPS tracking device. The judge also prohibited him from owning guns.

Prosecutors dropped the charge in October.

Contact Kathryn Varn at or (727) 893-8913. Follow @kathrynvarn.