Crime

Florida Teens Arrested, Suspected Of Killing Father Of Three Over $10 Marijuana Debt

| by Lauren Briggs

Police arrested three Florida residents in connection the murder of a father of three. The man was allegedly killed over a $10 marijuana debt.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrested and charged a 17-year-old boy, his 18-year-old girlfriend, Kaitlyn Tucciarone, and his 22-year-old brother, William Booth, in connection to the murder of Michael Sears in August, according to a police reported cited by the Palm Beach Post.

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The Post reports that Sears' age is 33; the Sun-Sentinel, however, puts his age at 31. He has a wife and three kids between the ages of 4 and 12. He was killed on Aug. 28, but his body was discovered on Sept. 4 -- a little over a week after his wife reported him missing, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The 17-year-old is not being named due to his age. Both he and Tucciarone were arrested on Sept. 24.

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Prosecutors are still deciding whether to charge the boy as an adult or a juvenile for first-degree murder. They will finalize charges within 30 days of his arrest.

Booth was arrested twice in connection with the murder: he was first arrested on Sept. 18 after he allegedly lied to police about a text conversation he had with his brother about the murder, but he posted bail and was released from jail. He was then arrested again on Sept. 25 because he allegedly helped the 17-year-old dispose of the gun and Sears' belongings following the murder. On Sept. 26, he was charged with accessory after the fact to murder and destroying evidence. He is being held without bail.

According to police, the 17-year-old shot Sears multiple times on Aug. 28 following an argument, possibly over a $10 marijuana debt, although it is unknown who owed whom. Tucciarone, who is also charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder and destroying evidence, allegedly saw her boyfriend kill Sears.

She reportedly watched the altercation from a window and called a friend on the phone during the incident, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

"Oh my God, [suspect's name] put the gun down!" she yelled, according to the friend. "I think he just shot someone! I have to go."

The police report states that she then helped her boyfriend put the body in Sears' truck, and they disposed of it in a nearby lake.

Deputies say Tucciarone called multiple friends to ask if they had ever killed anyone or disposed of a body.

The 17-year-old allegedly texted friends to find a place to stay, telling them that Tucciarone's father is a Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy, so she could not help him.

Tucciarone's father, Jason, has been a deputy in the area since 2008.

Tucciarone reportedly told the whole story to her mother, who took her to the West Palm Beach Police Department, where she made a statement.

Deputies found Sears' truck, which was full of blood, and they later found his body in a lake that was less than half a mile from the boy's house.

Tucciarone is being held without bail at the Palm Beach County Jail.

Because of his age, the 17-year-old suspect is being held at the Juvenile Assessment Center.

Sources: Palm Beach PostSun-Sentinel / Photo credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office via Sun-Sentinel, Contributed via Palm Beach Post