MANATEE -- A homeless man has been charged with killing another homeless man with a concrete block and a knife around 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Michael Morico, 49, hit victim Kevin House, 52, with a concrete block before stabbing him because he thought House had set some of his possessions on fire, according to the release. The two were arguing when Morico hit House in the face, knocking him to the ground, then raised the concrete block and smashed it on the victim's head, according to the arrest report.
A witness tried to intervene, but Morico threatened to kill him, deputies said. Morico then stabbed House multiple times.
Morico loaded House's body into a shopping cart and moved it about 15 yards from the campsite area, according to the report. Morico then returned and asked a witness how he should dispose of the body, and "debated on whether he should dismember the victim or not."
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Deputies were searching the wooded area near the 4700 block of 15th Street East in Bradenton at 11:20 p.m. Tuesday for a suspect with multiple felony warrants when they found House's body wrapped in a green tarp with blunt-force trauma to his head and multiple stab wounds.
The crime scene was just east of the railroad tracks behind the Superior Asphalt plant.
Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said homeless camps are in the wooded area, and it's likely
the victim and suspect were living there.
Deputies discovered the body while looking for David Morico, Michael Morico's nephew, who was also living in the homeless camp, Bristow said. David Morico was arrested on charges of burglary and grand theft.
Bristow said witnesses helped identify the suspect. A concrete block, two knives and blood evidence were found on scene.
Michael Morico has previously been charged with possession of rock cocaine, domestic battery and driving under the influence. He pleaded no contest to a charge of violating his pretrial release in the domestic abuse case when he went to his wife's house to ask her for money and to see his children in March 2014. He was sentenced to time served in July.
House has previously been charged with battery, violating a domestic injunction, trespassing, shoplifting, grand theft, burglary, drug possession, driving under the influence and drug possession.
Morico is charged with second-degree murder and his first court appearance will be at 1 p.m. Thursday.
This is the seventh reported homicide in Manatee County in January, and the fourth in the past week.