By Matt Wiley
Two men are in custody after allegedly stabbing a man in a car while driving, just north of S.R. 54 in Wesley Chapel.
According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), on September 7, an off-duty deputy was traveling south on I-75 when he noticed a silver Acura sedan parked on the northbound shoulder of the interstate. The deputy doubled back and found Justin P. Gonzalez, 22, of Crossville, TN, and Jesse M. Blair, 23, of Lakeland, at the vehicle, along with a deceased man in the passenger seat with several apparent stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.
The off-duty deputy detained the suspects, PSCO says.
Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the three were driving north on I-75, when the driver, Gonzalez, handed a knife to Blair, who was sitting in the rear, passenger-side seat. Blair stabbed the victim several times, before handing the knife back to Gonzalez, who also stabbed the victim several times. The victim, whose identity still has not been released, died from his injuries at the scene.
After being read their rights, Blair confessed to planning to kill the victim because he was a “snitch.” The pair has been charged with first-degree murder, as well as conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, and is being held at the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center without bail.
No additional information currently is available.