Man out on bond accused in Winter Haven pick hammer murder

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- A man accused of killing another with a pick hammer should be sent to prison for "a long, long time" for such a violent act, authorities say.

Deputies were sent Saturday, Jan. 6, to 135 Manseau Drive, where they found 38-year-old Johnathon Miller unconscious, according to a Polk County Sheriff's Office news release.

He was suffering from facial damage and head trauma. Miller was taken to an area hospital, where he died later in the evening.

Witnesses at the home told deputies Miller and 27-year-old Calvin Ross had been arguing in the yard. Shortly thereafter, they heard noises that sounded like "thuds," the release states.

Ross, who lived at the home, went inside and reportedly told a roommate: "Miller is on the ground and needs to be checked on." 

Detectives found a bloody pick hammer near Miller's body while investigating the scene.

Ross is charged with second-degree murder with a weapon and violation of pretrial conditions. He has a prior criminal record; Ross was out on bond for aggravated battery from last April when he hit a person in the head with a brick.

"This was a senseless and violent homicide," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in the release. "The suspect was out on bond for hitting another man in the head with a brick-a violent aggravated battery. This time his victim didn't survive.

"With his violent history, we are going to make sure he stays in jail until he gets sent to prison for a long, long time."

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