From left, Timothy John Schuyler, Joshua Eugene Shroyer and Kord Lynn Tucker
MADEIRA BEACH – A live-aboard commercial fisherman died Oct. 4 from injuries he received in a Sept. 12 beating aboard his vessel docked at a marina just south of the Tom Stewart Causeway on Madeira Beach.
Deputies arrested three suspects between Sept. 14 and 18. Each was charged with aggravated battery, according to a report Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The State Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case and the charges again in the light of Merrill’s death.
Deputies still don’t know what triggered the incident that happened about 2 a.m. aboard Michael Merrill’s vessel, the Lilly Anne, a 33-foot commercial fishing boat. The three suspects allegedly boarded the Lilly Anne and confronted the 57-year-old man late on the night of Sept. 11. He told them to leave, and reportedly threatened them with a knife.
Reports indicate the three left the boat at that time, but returned to the boat around 2 a.m. and began beating Merrill with hand tools and other objects. He was able to escape by diving into the water and hiding under the dock. A friend found Merrill a short time later, and called for assistance.
Merrill was transported to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment of various internal and head injuries.
Three transients were charged in the beating. Timothy John Schuyler, 31, and Joshua Eugene Shroyer, 38, have remained in the Pinellas County Jail since their arrests in September. Schuyler’s bond is set at $7,500 and Shroyer’s bail is $10,000. Kord Lynn Tucker, 38, was released on a $10,000 surety bond Sept. 15. He also was arrested and charged on Oct. 7 for aggravated battery. He was released the same day on his own recognizance.