Suspects in renowned composer’s murder have been arrested

Local News
Darren Decker and Jessica Baker_137212

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Two people suspected of killing a Citrus County resident and renowned composer are in custody. The Citrus County sheriff announced the development Friday.

Don “Terry” Plumeri was murdered on March 31. He was a “noted musician, composer and conductor,” according to his obituary. His website showcases his work.

Plumeri’s killing followed a burglary spree in Citrus and other counties.

Suspects taken into custody

Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said two suspects had been arrested on burglary charges. They’re also suspected in Plumeri’s murder.

Darren Decker, 41, and Jessica Baker, 44, both of Ocala, are being held in Sumter County without bond. They were arrested March 18 in Marion County for a Sumter County burglary, deputies said.

Citrus County dealt with a string of burglaries beginning in January. The cases seemed to be related, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office. “The burglaries occurred during the day, primarily in rural areas, when it was believed the victims were not home,” deputies said.

The burglars took cash, guns, jewelry and sometimes drugs from the victims. “Almost all of the victims reported that a pillowcase was missing from the residence after the burglary occurred,” deputies said.

One of the Citrus burglaries involved similarities to Plumeri’s murder, which occurred in the composer’s W. Candier Court home in Dunnellon. On April 1 deputies were called to the home to perform a well-being check. They found the victim deceased. He had been bound and suffered from both blunt force trauma and multiple stab wounds.

“Mr. Plumeri suffered at the hands of Darren Decker,” Capt. Brad Smith said Friday. “We know that Mr. Plumeri was inside his home when the suspect(s) broke in. We believe that Decker brutally murdered a very talented man who certainly didn’t deserve to die this way. Our continued prayers are with his family and friends.”

Break in the case

Detectives received a break in the case because the suspect sold property stolen from a previous burglary, deputies said.

“Right now, investigators are combing through tons of evidence to match up stolen items to specific burglaries in Citrus and surrounding counties and to bring homicide charges against the couple,” deputies added. “Right now, investigators are combing through tons of evidence to match up stolen items to specific burglaries in Citrus and surrounding counties and to bring homicide charges against the couple.”

Earlier this month another suspected Citrus County burglar was arrested. James L. Jones, 47, of Crystal River is suspected in multiple burglaries “to feed a meth addiction,” deputies said.

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