The last word homicide victim Joseph Terrell Allen texted to his mother was “tat,” before detectives say he was killed because of a “messed up” tattoo.
Monday evening, Allen, 22, was dropped off at the home Jamal Christopher Calloway shared with a cousin in the 2600 block of 15th Avenue East in Palmetto to tattoo Calloway. The two went into a bedroom for Allen to do the work.
At about 1:45 a.m., Calloway’s cousin told detectives he heard seven or eight gunshots as he walked to a friend’s house. He told them he didn’t return home for about 30 minutes, by which time Calloway and Allen were gone. He said there were bullets and blood in the bedroom, according to the sheriff’s office.
The next morning, Calloway admitted to his cousin he had shot Allen dead because he had “messed up” his tattoo and he dumped his body in Parrish, the sheriff’s office said.
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At 2:21 p.m. Tuesday, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office was called to the 13150 block of Old Tampa Road in Parrish after bicyclists spotted a dead body in the ditch. The sheriff’s office identified the body as Allen, who had been reported missing.
Jamal Christopher Calloway was arrested Wednesday morning in the 3000 block of Newtown Boulevard in Sarasota and charged with second-degree murder.
On Friday, he was transported to the Manatee County jail where he was held without bond.
Allen’s mother, Carolyn Stuckey, said she worried about her son when he was at Calloway’s house Monday night, so she texted him through Facebook messenger.
“I wanted to know if he was alright,” Stuckey said.
Her son’s response left her confused, she said, when he answered: “I don’t know what they talking about.”
So the concerned mother said she texted back: “Who? What?”
His reply, and the last time she would hear from him, was “tat,” she said.
The mother said she doesn’t believe her son died because he botched Calloway’s tattoo.
“They robbed him and they didn’t want to pay for the tattoo,” she said. “I know that’s what it was.”
She would not elaborate how she knewbut believes detectives had been lied to, she said.
“He did good work. He always showed them a drawing first,” Stuckey said.
“They robbed my baby because he use to carry money on him,” the grieving mother said. “He was so naive and quick to trust people.”
Allen, one of four children, had been at the same home just days prior to tattoo someone else, she said. The mother said she did not know Calloway and he was not someone his son would hang out with.
On Friday, she and other family members, including Allen’s fiancee, gathered in her home reminiscing about what they would miss most.
Stuckey said she will miss her son’s personality and every morning how he would say, “Good morning, mom.”