A death investigation turned into a homicide investigation when a suspect told deputies his friend died suddenly, but the two men were found in the home alone and the victim had been shot, according to the Manatee Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies were dispatched to the home in the 5000 block of 13th Street West on Snead Island in Palmetto at 10:50 p.m. Friday, according to a news release.
Willie Lee Jones, 65, was found dead on the ground.
George C. Williamson Jr., 70, reportedly told deputies that Jones had come over to his home to visit when all of sudden he was lying on the floor unresponsive, and so he called 911.
“We determined he had been shot and that they were the only two in the house,” Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Dave Bristow said. “They were friends.”
Detectives said that Jones was shot multiple times, and that they found multiple firearms in Williamson’s home.
Assistant State Attorney Brian Iten arrived at the scene and conferred with investigators. Williamson was then arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
“There are statements, but there is no confession,” Iten said.
Williamson is expected to appear in court for his first appearance hearing at 8 a.m. Sunday.
“I’m trying to get next of kin to appear in court,” Iten said. “There is a lot of questions that I still need to get answers to.”
This is the first homicide investigation in Manatee County in 2014.
Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.