Florida man accused of killing roommate because he ‘annoyed’ him, deputies say

Jesse Hill, 42, faces manslaughter charge

Jesse Hill, 42. (Lake County Sheriff's Office)

ALTOONA, Fla. – A Lake County man was arrested last week after he was accused of killing his roommate back in May.

The sheriff’s office arrested Jesse Hill, 42, of Altoona on July 8, in connection with the death of Ernie Wilburn on May 4.

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Deputies said Hill shot Wilburn with a pellet rifle because Wilburn had been locked out of the residence and was yelling for Hill to let him in. A witness, Hill’s girlfriend, told deputies that Wilburn was annoying them, so Hill shot Wilburn with a pellet gun through the bedroom window.

When deputies arrived at the house to investigate, they found Wilburn dead on the living room floor, covered with a sheet and with furniture pillows piled on top of it. Deputies said it was clear the body had been moved because of the location of the blood-like stain on the floor.

Deputies also added that when they read the search warrant, Hill asked if it included a particular area of the property. Deputies said it did, and when they searched in that area, they found the Ruger .22 caliber air rifle.

According to an arrest affidavit, Hill claimed he didn’t know the pellet rifle could kill Wilburn, but the property owner said he had scolded Hill for shooting the rifle inside the residence, where it passed through several wall panels, meaning Hill knew the damage the rifle could do.

Hill briefly disappeared, according to deputies, after May 4, telling people he was “wanted for murder” even though law enforcement never told him that. He was eventually found and arrested.

Hill faces a charge of manslaughter.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.