An Alachua County man is behind bars after fatally shooting his fiancée’s son over car damage, deputies say.
James Edwards, 61, is charged with the first-degree murder of 24-year-old Jacob Ryan who had recently crashed his future stepfather’s car, according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say Ryan lived in a mobile home with his mother and Edwards and had caused a hit-and-run Monday evening while on his way to the store. He brought the car back “heavily damaged,” something which Edwards didn’t take too kindly to.
“When [Ryan] tells [Edwards] he crashed the vehicle [Edwards] stands up and a physical confrontation ensues,” the deputy wrote.
As the altercation moved to the bed, Edwards’ fiancée unsuccessfully tried breaking them up. She finally succeeds — but the damage was already done:
“When she pulls the victim away from the bed she discovers [Ryan] had been shot one time in the chest,” the deputy added. “[Ryan] then falls to the floor.”
Edwards, who later admitted to having a bit to drink, called 911. Despite telling authorities that he was a registered nurse, Edwards did not attempt to help the bleeding 24-year-old. He justified his actions by stating that Ryan was beating him, according to the report.
Jail records show Edwards is being held on $1 million bond.
A search of Edward’s criminal history shows his only case — a 2013 domestic battery charge for allegedly strangling his then wife — was eventually dropped.