His future stepson crashed his car. So he shot and killed him, police say

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.

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James D. Edwards Alachua County Sheriff's Office

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.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.