BRADENTON -- The palm print of the man charged with killing another man was found inside an abandoned house near the victim's body, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Andrew Lee Perry, 42, is charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Collin Mahoney, whose body was found Jan. 31 inside an abandoned home in the 500 block of 12th Street Drive West in Palmetto.
Detectives have previously said they believe he was killed the previous afternoon, not far from the home.
The Palmetto Police Department said last month a person of interest had been developed in the case but detectives were waiting for forensic evidence being tested. Perry was identified last week as a suspect when detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging him in the fatal shooting. That same evening, he was arrested in Sarasota County and transferred back to Manatee County jail to face the murder charge.
On Wednesday afternoon, Perry appeared via video conference before Circuit Judge Hunter Carroll for a first-appearance hearing. Carroll ordered Perry to continue to be held without bond.
Assistant State Attorney Charles Near argued Perry could be held without bond because it met the requirements of the Arthur rule, based on a 1980 Florida Supreme Court ruling that "the
proof of guilt is evident and the presumption of guilt is great."
"The defendant's palm print was found at the house where he denies ever being in," Near said. "An individual was seen dragging the body across the street to the house."
Carroll also appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent Perry.
On Jan. 31, a Palmetto police patrol officer was checking a vacant residence in the 500 block of 12th Street Drive West after receiving a complaint people were possibly using the house unlawfully, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. The officer found an unsecured door and opened it to discover Mahoney's body. Detectives said Mahoney suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.
An investigation revealed Mahoney was likely shot across the street from where he was found and then dragged into the house. According to the affidavit, a witness who wished to be anonymous said he saw someone dragging a body across the street shortly after hearing multiple gunshots on the morning of Jan. 30. The witness called police to report hearing gunshots but failed to mention to officers who arrived shortly after what he had seen.
A canvass of the neighborhood revealed Mahoney and his brother had been involved in "physical confrontations" with Perry, according to the affidavit. Mahoney's brother told detectives he and his brother had been in a fight with Perry a week prior to the fatal shooting.
He added that after the fight, Perry said he would be back. Detectives said a video from a phone submitted anonymously to police shows a fight between men on 12th Street Drive West.
"Although the resolution is poor, it is supposed to be the fights between the Mahoney brothers and Andrew Perry," the affidavit reads.
According to the affidavit, it was suspected Perry was using the home where Mahoney's body was found on occasion without permission. Crime scene investigators with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office processed the room where Mahoney was found and lifted a palm print near the door frame in close proximity to Mahoney's body.
No other identifiable prints of value were recovered from the interior of the residence, detectives said.
On Feb. 19, detectives met with Perry in order to execute a search warrant authorizing collection of a DNA sample from Perry.
According to the affidavit, Perry said he was not aware there had been a shooting near his family's address Jan. 30.
He also denied knowing the Mahoney brothers and denied ever being in a fight with either brother or having any interaction with them at all. Detectives said Perry also denied having ever been inside the house, either in the past when it was occupied or recently while it has been vacant.
Anyone with any information on the case can call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at 941-747-3011, ext. 2519, the Palmetto Police Department at 941-721-2000 or remain anonymous and call Manatee Crimestoppers at 866-634-TIPS.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. Follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.