Suspects accuse each other of killing victim in Palm Bay’s ‘Compound’

Robert Lanning faces judge Wednesday

PALM BAY, Fla. – Three weeks after authorities captured Robert Lanning in Alabama, the 28-year-old murder suspect is now in the custody of the Brevard County jail just like his girlfriend, 41-year-old Rene Lemos.

Palm Bay police said the couple approached 30-year-old Nick Mitchell at a Circle K on Aug. 30 while he was pumping gas.

Next, police said the three drove to a neighborhood in the city that was never finished called the Compound. Police have responded to three other murders there in just the last year.

In one of her interviews, Lemos told police they were taking turns drag racing Mitchell’s BMW and then Lanning shot Mitchell and stole his car.

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In his new arrest affidavit, police said Lanning also told detectives they went to the Compound to race, but he said it was Lemos who shot Mitchell and his girlfriend also tried setting Mitchell’s body on fire, but he stopped her.

Police didn’t believe Lanning so Lemos, who was also caught out-of-state, is just accused of being Lanning’s accomplice.

Because of an accident at his restoration job, Mitchell wore a heart monitor with GPS.

His roommate said that helped police find his body.

“When they pinged it, two days after he was missing, they said he was out of the area and I said that isn’t right,” Nicholas Bauer said. “I knew something was going on. Either he had an accident or a heart attack.”

With both suspects now in jail, Lanning is also ordered to have no contact with his co-defendant.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.