MADEIRA BEACH – Three men suspected of killing a Madeira Beach man were charged with second degree murder Oct. 16.
Michael Merrill, 57, 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, all transients, between Sept. 14 and 18. Each was charged with aggravated battery, according to a report Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Timothy John Schuyler, 31, and Joshua Eugene Shroyer, 38, have remained in the Pinellas County Jail since their arrests in September. Kord Lynn Tucker, 38, released on a $10,000 surety bond Sept. 15 and re-arrested Oct. 16.
Deputies say a previous disagreement might have triggered the incident that happened about 2 a.m. aboard 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 show the three suspects 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.