ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) – A 28-year-old construction worker who co-workers said carried strong anti-government beliefs is accused of stabbing his pro-President Donald Trump boss at a job site on Monday and then laying a brand new American flag next to his body, according to an arrest affidavit.
Orange County Sheriff’s officials said Mason Toney was captured Monday night in Brevard County.
William Steven Knight, 28, died at the scene after he was stabbed.
New details about the case were revealed Tuesday during Toney’s first court appearance, in which he was ordered to be held without bond.
Deputies said they were called around 10:30 a.m. after people called 911 and said Toney had killed their boss along the Turnpike, near State Road 528. When deputies arrived, they found Knight’s body lying next to an excavator with a brand-new American flag thrown on the side of him, an arrest affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, witnesses told investigators that Knight picked up Toney as usual, but while they were traveling from one job site to another, a government-related argument broke out.
The witnesses told investigators that Knight was a “proud and outspoken American and is pro-Donald Trump. They stated that the suspect is anti-government and very outspoken about his beliefs that the government is bad and out to get him,” the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, witnesses said they were beginning to work at the jobsite when they heard Knight start yelling for help. The witnesses ran over to the excavator where the two men had been talking and witnessed the stabbing, the affidavit said.
The witnesses said tried to stop Toney, but said he began to advance toward them with what they believed to be a knife, the affidavit said.
The American flag lying next was brand new and witnesses told investigators Toney showed up for work that day with a backpack, which is very unusual for him, the affidavit said.
Knight’s family told WESH 2 News that Toney wasn’t just Knight’s employee, but also a lifelong friend.
“He was a friend of the family. My son went to elementary school with him and to middle school and high school,” William Knight’s father said.
Knight’s family said Toney had been going through some difficult times, but no one expected he would do something like this, especially to William Steven Knight, who they described as a generous and loving friend.
“He would give his shirt off his back to anybody, feed anybody,” William Knight said.
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