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Homeowner fatally stabs man during St. Pete break-in

The dead man had sneaked out of a group home a block away. It’s unlikely charges will be filed, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Investigators are collecting evidence at the scene of a fatal stabbing on the 4000 block of 68th Street N. The victim was trying to break into a house, the Sheriff's Office said. [KATHRYN VARN | TIMES | Kathryn Varn]

ST. PETERSBURG — A homeowner early Monday stabbed and killed a 23-year-old man who had mental disabilities after the man sneaked out of a group home around the corner.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the homeowner stabbed the man in self-defense and will likely not face charges.

Early Monday, Chase Richardson, a resident of Savannah House at 6881 40th Ave. N, got into an argument with another resident. Staff members separated them. Richardson went to his room, slammed and locked the door.

Staff members were able to unlock the door but not before Richardson slipped out a window, detectives said. A staff member left to go find him.

Richardson walked a block east to the 4000 block of 68th Street. A number of people living in the area called 911 to report that a man was yelling and banging on their doors and windows.

Richardson started hitting the front sliding-glass doors of a home in the area, according to the Sheriff’s Office. A man who lives at the home yelled at Richardson to go away.

He left but then broke through the window of the master bedroom, detectives said. The man’s wife ran from the room. The man, concerned for his family’s safety, stabbed Richardson as he was trying to come through the window.

The Sheriff’s Office is withholding the homeowner’s name and address under its interpretation of Marsy’s Law, an amendment to the state Constitution designed to protect crime victims.

Richardson stumbled, wounded, down 68th Street and onto 40th Avenue N. He collapsed in front of a parked car driven by the staff member who was searching for him.

Richardson was taken to St. Petersburg General Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead about 5:30 a.m.

Hours after the stabbing, a trail of 15 to 20 evidence markers stretched from the driveway of a home, about half a block down the street and around a corner, ending near a car parked along the road.

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