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Man charged with violating probation in Manatee killing

MANATEE — An Orlando man has been brought to Manatee County after authorities say he violated his probation stemming from his 1994 conviction for killing a Holmes Beach man.

Joseph Wharran, 41, was brought to the Manatee County jail Thursday on the probation violation. Court records show Wharran’s probation officer said Wharran failed to remain at his approved home under community control conditions.

Wharran is on probation until 2011 in the 1994 killing of 51-year-old Thomas Fortuner, for which he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for manslaughter. Wharran had been fighting with a co-worker on the Palma Sola Causeway, when he threw a ladder at the man.

The ladder missed Wharran’s target, and instead hit Fortuner passing by on a motorcycle. He was thrown from the bike and later died.

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