WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) — One suspect was arrested over the weekend in the the homicide of a St. Petersburg man after a drug deal at a Davenport rental home, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced Monday.
The man arrested is Justin Jenkins, 29, from South Daytona Beach. He faces a first-degree murder charge. Jenkins had at least 55 previous criminal charges according to Judd, with 35 of those being felonies.
“Justin Jenkins is a bad man, he’s a murderer,” Judd said.
Sheriff Judd said Jenkins and another man went to the home to rob Xavier Antonio Johnson, 29, who was at rented the house on Acorn Court through Airbnb on April 8, 2022, to sell marijuana along with other individuals.
Law enforcement is still looking for another man they said was Jenkins’ partner.
Judd said they are unsure which man allegedly shot Johnson, but new video released by the sheriff’s office showed Jenkins and two other men entering the house with guns. Five minutes later, Jenkins and the man deputies are looking for can been seen frantically leaving the house with a bag.
The man deputies are looking for is wearing a hat and mask in the video.
Other surveillance video released over the weekend showed a group of three different men carry Johnson’s body out of the home later that night. Deputies have identified those men and they are also under investigation.
The renter of the Airbnb is also being investigated.
“Everybody that’s involved is in the Easter basket,” Judd said.
Judd said those three men dropped Johnson off at the Heart of Florida hospital in Haines City, where he was pronounced dead.
“I truly, truly know he did not deserve that. Whoever he was in the presence of, he was loyal to those people that’s why he was there, trusted them. And I feel like he was betrayed,” said Lynn Johnson, Xavier’s mother.
Johnson said her son was nicknamed “Big Daddy,” and had two daughters, 3 years old and 2 months old.
“This one day, that Wednesday, will not define my son,” she said. ““Big Daddy was a great person. Every time he came around us, he always brought a lot of joy, love.”
Deputies were able to place the alleged crime scene at the Airbnb when the out-of-state homeowner looked at the Ring security camera footage from outside the home. Sheriff Judd said the homeowner is innocent in the incident.
Detectives are asking anyone to identify the other man involved in Johnson’s death. If you have any information, call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226 TIPS (8477).
You can also send tips online to the Crime Stoppers website.