A pre-Hurricane Irma homicide in Key West will go to a grand jury this month for a decision on whether it was murder or self-defense.
A knife fight between two men at the high-end Steamplant Condos on Truman Avenue ended with the worst of it going to Jason Fitzgerald Henthorne, 47, of Wooster, Ohio, who died after his throat was slashed, according to a source close to the investigation.
Police called it a fight between Henthorne and Mikhael Anthony Blumin of Key West, who was found at 3:47 a.m. Sept. 8 covered in blood and seriously injured, according to the heavily redacted incident report released this week by Key West police.
Henthorne was found inside the condo on the floor covered in blood. Blumin was seen with another shirtless man walking from the rear of the building, police said.
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“I noticed Blumin’s entire upper half of his body was covered in fresh blood,” wrote Office Justin Elsmore. “[Redacted] was holding towels against Blumin’s upper back that were saturated in blood.”
Blumin, who is marked as a “victim” in the police report, also had a deep cut to his right elbow. He was airlifted to a Miami hospital for further treatment, police said.
“I’m sure there will be a self-defense component there,” said State Attorney Dennis Ward. “A stand-your-ground.”
The police report describes the initial investigation as being unclear whether Henthorne had been armed and “had other avenues of escape” from the condo.
Henthorne’s carotid artery had been slashed, sources said.
A new grand jury will be selected Oct. 16.
An obituary that ran in Henthorne’s hometown called his death an accident and described him as a member of the National Rifle Association and a gun-rights advocate. He worked with his father at Petro Evaluation Services in Wooster and left a wife and two children.
Henthorne was a certified petroleum geologist with a penchant for adventure, his family said, describing him in the obituary as a Muay Thai fighter, a pilot and explosives expert in Colorado and a hunter for dangerous game in Africa.
In 2000, a Wayne County, Ohio, jury acquitted Henthorne of attempted murder after he reportedly stabbed a man who he said had threatened him at a local bowling alley, according to the The Daily Record newspaper in Wooster. A jury also acquitted Henthorne on lesser counts of felonious assault, assault, kidnapping and carrying a concealed weapon.
The Monroe County medical examiner included Henthorne among the 14 people whose deaths were Irma-related.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen