FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. – Fruitland Park police have released new details in the arrest of three men accused of murdering a Pennsylvania man earlier this year, the Police Department said.
Police said Matthew Splunge, 16, of Orlando, Tracy Lamar Mays Jr., 18, of Leesburg, and Larry Burrows, 23, of Orlando, are facing felony murder charges in the death of Scott Behney, 58, of Denver, Pennsylvania.
According to police, neighbors reported hearing two gunshots coming from a mechanics garage near South Dixie Avenue and Palm Street in Fruitland Park at 11:15 p.m. April 10.
Fruitland Park police said Burrows, Sphunge and Mays were in Lake County to "poke cars," which is slang for vehicle burglaries, on the night Behney was killed.
While the men were driving down the road in a black Honda, they saw a shed with vehicles out front and went to "check it out," according to the arrest warrant. Behney was working in the garage, which belonged to his friend, police said.
Authorities said Behney was shot to death in the garage before the suspect fled to Orange County in the black Honda.
Mays appeared to have been stabbed during the attempted robbery, police said.
Later that week, the Honda was stopped by Orlando police but its occupants fled, according to police. Detectives said a firearm found inside the car was taken to be processed. Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators later determined that the shell casings collected from the garage matched the firearm, Fruitland Park police said. That finding later led them to connecting Burrows to the case, detectives said.
Fruitland Park police Chief Michael Fewless said the traffic stop played a key role in connecting the dots. Surveillance video also helped detectives get an idea of who they were seeking, authorities said.
After a two-month investigation, police arrested Splunge and Mays on murder and attempted robbery charges, Fruitland Park police said. Splunge is in the Orange County Detention Center and Mays is in the Walton County Jail, according to officers.
Burrows, who was already in custody on unrelated charges of violating probation, was served a warrant on the same charges earlier this month and is in the Lake County Jail, police said Thursday.
Fewless and FDLE officials said during a press conference Thursday afternoon that investigators later learned that six people were in the Honda the night of the fatal shooting, but that the three occupants not facing charges are only considered to be witnesses.
“We’re confident that we’ve now charged the people that we believe were responsible for that homicide," FDLE Special Agent Danny Banks.
Detectives also said they don't believe Behney was targeted.
This was a crime of greed and opportunity,” Fruitland Park Police Chief Michael Fewless said. “Scott Behney did not deserve this and Fruitland Park will not tolerate it."
Fewless said Behney had been in the Central Florida area for at least four months and was traveling to different cities in a trailer he was hauling with his truck. He just happened to be in the garage when the suspects were looking to get into criminal activity, the chief said.
"This man was working on his vehicle, and they showed up and decided to rob him and decided to kill him, and they left him there," Banks said.