THONOTOSASSA — Barbara Sharp's friends worried about her moving back home.
For more than a decade, Sharp had lived with her son Samuel Parsons in a manufactured home tucked off the road on a shady lot in Thonotosassa. But Parsons had mental health issues and she and her son were not getting along, said Jerry Waldrop, pastor at West Thonotosassa Baptist Church, where Sharp was a member.
Late last year, Sharp, 78, decided to leave the house and stay with a friend, Waldrop said. After a few months, she returned home despite her friends' concerns.
"There were people in the church who tried to talk her out of it, asking her, 'Are you sure this is what you really want to do?'" Waldrop said. "They had some insight about the son and how it was difficult to get along with him. But she was determined."
Just weeks later, Sharp was brutally beaten and stabbed by Parsons in their home on Ellison Road, investigators say.
A court document filed Monday offers more details about what led up to Parsons' arrest on a murder charge the previous day.
Shortly after 8 a.m. on Sunday, Parsons, 54, showed up at the front door of a neighbor's home and told her he'd killed somebody, according to a motion for pre-trial detention filed by prosecutors in the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. The neighbor called 911.
A Hillsborough sheriff's deputy arrived to find Parsons standing on the porch of his home, clad only in a piece of white cloth tied around his waist. He was holding a yellow crow bar above his head and had what appeared to be blood on his bare skin, the motion says.
As the deputy placed Parsons in the back of a patrol car, Parsons said, "There is a dead body in there, I did it," according to the motion.
Investigators found Sharp dead in the home's back bedroom with "extensive trauma" to her head and abdomen caused by both blunt and sharp objects. Knives, a hammer, scissors and a shovel were found near Sharp's feet. All were stained with what appeared to be blood.
Investigators noted Parsons also had fresh cuts on his own body.
In an interview with detectives, Parsons admitted to striking and stabbing his mother with his feet, hand and tools, the motion says. Then he offered a bizarre explanation.
"The defendant stated he was stabbing and crushing the 'bombs' which were on Barbara's body and as a result, he killed Barbara," the motion says.
Parsons told investigators that after he felt safe he went across the street to ask neighbors to call 911.
Parsons was charged with second degree murder with a weapon and was being held without bail Tuesday in the Hillsborough County jail.
The motion notes that Parsons has a prior violent felony conviction. In 1985, at the age of 20, he was convicted of sexual battery in Lee County and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Details about the case were not available but the records show the victim was younger than 12. Parsons was released in 1998 after serving 13 years. He was required to register as a sexual offender.
A few months after his release, he was arrested on a charge of distributing marijuana. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year of probation. In 2000, he was charged with failing to register as a sex offender, but the case was dropped, records show. He has no other arrests in Florida.
He and Sharp purchased the Ellison Road home in 2004. Both are listed as owners, property records show, but Waldrop said Sharp told him she was making the house payments. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the home a number of times last year for "non-violent domestic disturbances," but no arrests were made.
No one answered the door at the home on Tuesday morning. The living room walls, clearly visible through a window in the front door, were covered in words and symbols written in black spray paint. Among them: "It's my house" and "mine."
Sharp has another son who lives out of state, according to Waldrop. The Tampa Bay Times was unable to reach him or other family members.
Sharp joined West Thonotosassa Baptist about two and a half years ago. Soft-spoken but friendly, she volunteered as an assistant teacher for a children's Bible study class in the church's food pantry, giving out food to the needy, Waldrop said.
About a year ago, Waldrop asked Sharp if he could meet Parsons and invite him to church, but Parsons wasn't interested, Waldrop said.
"She loved her son and wanted good things for him, but he didn't want someone coming over and telling him what to do," Waldrop said.
Sharp later shared with Waldrop that her son had mental health issues. Waldrop declined to provide details about his illness.
Waldrop confirmed Sharp's death to the congregation at the start of the Sunday evening service.
"We're going to miss her," he said, "but we know where she is. She had a relationship with Christ."
The church is planning a memorial service for Sharp in the coming weeks but a date and time had not been set Tuesday.
Senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at email@example.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.