79ºF

Man claiming self-defense after body found in Melbourne facing homicide charge

Officers say man tossed blood-spattered items into dumpsters along beach-side communities

Melbourne police find a body inside a home on the 2000 block of Leewood Boulevard.
Melbourne police find a body inside a home on the 2000 block of Leewood Boulevard. (Amanda Castro)

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A suspect in a Melbourne homicide investigation has admitted to killing the man found dead in a home, police say.

Nicholas Allen McDuffie told police he killed 24-year-old Tyler Moore New Year’s Eve in self-defense, according to an arrest report. Officers with Melbourne police found Moore at a home on the 2000 block of Leewood Boulevard Jan 3. after receiving a tip of an unreported death.

McDuffie is now facing a first-degree homicide charge.

The Melbourne Police Department said the probable cause was established during the investigation.

[RELATED: Body found in Melbourne house, men in truck seen dumping bags in dumpsters, police say]

Police noted a U-Haul parked in front of the house and later followed the two men driving it. Investigators said they witnessed the men discarding items in different dumpsters along beach-side neighborhoods. Some of the items the men tossed out were a wooden stool with blood spatter, a printer with blood, a mattress, a rolled-up carpet and several trash bags, according to an arrest report.

Officers were able to identify the driver as McDuffie and the passenger as 32-year-old Victor Cruz.

Police tailed the men and eventually stopped them at a Sunoco gas station on S.R. 518 and South Patrick Drive. The gas station manager provided News 6 with a surveillance video of the moment officers took McDuffie and Cruz into custody.

Police said McDuffie lives in the house where they found Moore’s body.

During questioning, McDuffie told investigators he killed Moore with a shotgun in his home and did not tell law enforcement or medical personnel. The 28-year-old told officers his actions were in self-defense. Officers learned McDuffie was a convicted felon and is not allowed to possess a firearm.

Left: Victor Cruz Right: Nicholas McDuffie
Left: Victor Cruz Right: Nicholas McDuffie

McDuffie is also facing a tampering with evidence charge, failure to report a death and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He’s being held in the Brevard County Jail on a $205,500 bond.

Cruz is also being held in the Brevard County Jail on a possession of drug paraphernalia charge. His bond is set at $175,000.


About the Author: