Saturday, December 3, 2011

Florida Swings Again

Fla. man charged with killing couple with bat

The Murder Weapon >>

Dec 03 2011
KELLI KENNEDY, Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — A North Florida man has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder after authorities say he beat a man and a woman to death with a baseball bat and then photographed their bodies.

Authorities said Saturday that Craig Arron Lede, 40, of Spring Hill is being held without bond after telling investigators that he killed John Ketsemidis, 29, and Dana Nelson, 28, at Lede's house on Wednesday when he became enraged that a debt couldn't be repaid. The suspect also allegedly drove to the home of the male victim's mother the next day trying to get money while the female victim's body was stashed in the trunk of his car.

"The defendant stated he killed John and Dana because he was tired of being 'screwed over,'" Hernando County Sheriff's Detective Randy Wiliamson wrote in an arrest affidavit. "The defendant demonstrated how he swung the baseball bat and struck both victims. The defendant stated he photographed the bodies and intended to keep the picture as a trophy..."

According to a news release from the sheriff's office, Ketsemidis' mother called authorities Friday in a panic because she hadn't heard from her son in a few days. She told authorities that Lede had come by her house on Thursday, telling a bizarre story that her son was at a local hospital and that he needed money. Lede was driving her son's BMW, she said.

Hernando County sheriff's deputies headed to Lede's home that afternoon in an effort to locate Ketsemidis — they had also traced him to the address through an ankle-monitoring device he was wearing because he was on probation. There deputies noticed what they believed was a body wrapped in a blanket on the garage floor, according to the news release.

"At that time Craig Lede became very nervous and asked the deputies to leave unless they had a search warrant," according to the statement.

Lede, who is unemployed and had a warrant for a probation violation, was immediately taken into custody. It's unclear if he has an attorney. It's clear he going to need anger management counseling.

As deputies pursued an arrest warrant, Lede began talking to investigators at the sheriff's office, authorities said,

Lede said the couple came to his house late Wednesday night and that Ketsemidis said he couldn't repay money he owed him, the news release said. Authorities said Lede became enraged and used a bat to strike Ketsemidis in the head, knocking him to the ground, and then to strike Nelson in the head.

"Once the victims were down and helpless, the defendant struck them in the head and upper body repeatedly causing eventual death," the arrest affidavit says. "The defendant then used his camera to photograph the deceased victims."

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