4th arrest made in slaying of dog, man at Merritt Island home

Cory Cabaniss, 25, of Cocoa, faces several charges

4th arrest made in slaying of dog, man at Merritt Island home
4th arrest made in slaying of dog, man at Merritt Island home

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – A fourth suspect has been arrested in connection with a home invasion robbery that led to the death of a 25-year-old Merritt Island man, authorities said.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that Cory Cabaniss, 25, of Cocoa, was arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service Task Force after an arrest warrant was issued charging him with first-degree felony murder, armed burglary of a dwelling and animal cruelty.

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Sheriff’s officials said Cabaniss fled to Franklyn County, Tennessee, where he was arrested and is currently being detained on a no bond status until he can be extradited back to Brevard County.

Deputies said an investigation began on March 3 when Matthew Nicol was found dead at a home on Hall Road. Deputies said Nicol was shot to death during a burglary at his home.

The sheriff’s office said it was determined that Cabaniss was part of a group that went to the residence to rob Nicol. Deputies said the group dressed in replica attire simulating the appearance of law enforcement, including tactical pants and shirts, helmets, communication devices, rifles and replica sheriff and DEA patches.

As the group entered the home, they were confronted by Nicol’s pet dog, which was shot and killed by one member of the group, officials said.

Nicol was then confronted by the group and was shot, according to sheriff’s officials.

Man arrested on murder charge in Merritt Island shooting
Man arrested on murder charge in Merritt Island shooting

The group then fled the area.

According to the sheriff’s office, residents removed evidence relating to drug activities from the home before notifying law enforcement about the shooting.

Earlier this month, David Emerson Foreman-Taylor, 23, of Cocoa, was arrested in connection to the case.

Officials later announced the arrests of Brian Vogel, 29, of Cocoa, and Chase Harrison, 28, of Rockledge, were arrested on charges of first-degree felony murder, armed burglary of a dwelling and animal cruelty. Both suspects were arrested at the Brevard County Jail, where they were already incarcerated on multiple drug charges.

Spokesperson Tod Goodyear said authorities still expect to arrest a fifth and final suspect.

“They all made a plan to go in there and commit a robbery and of course, during that robbery, a person was killed and they’ll all have to face the charges for it,” Goodyear said.

Investigators Tuesday said they were able to determine who rented a U-Haul van the group took to Nicol’s home and later dropped off at a Merritt Island U-Haul location.

“And then building off of that and going through the associates of that person,” Goodyear described the investigative process. “It was just a long, drawn-out process of putting those pegs together to come up with five people,” he said.


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