Friday, April 30, 2010

Pine Island, FL: Pine Island man killed over woman

Suspect said to think victim dating his ex


A misunderstanding over a woman led to a">fatal stabbing Wednesday night on Pine Island, according to the victim's mother.

"I miss him," Lisa McClenithan said as she wiped tears from her eyes Thursday afternoon. Family and friends spent the day offering their condolences with roses and cards outside her mobile home near Stringfellow Road in Bokeelia.

Her son, Adam McClenithan, 21, was stabbed a few blocks from her home about 8:30 p.m. and later died at Lee Memorial Hospital. It was the first homicide on Pine Island in almost two years.

Deputies are still searching for David T. Chavez, 30, the suspect in the homicide, said John Sheehan, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. Sheehan said detectives aren't commenting on a motive.

McClenithan said neighbors told her that her son was walking back to her home, where he lived, after visiting his 4-year-old daughter, Tearzlee, who lives with her grandmother on nearby Judith Road. She claims Chavez was hiding in the woods and waiting for her son.

"As my son was walking by, he jumped out and stabbed him," McClenithan alleges.

She claims Chavez thought her son had started a relationship with one of Chavez's former girlfriends.

"But he didn't," McClenithan said. "He had a girlfriend."

She said her son called 911 on his cell phone after the stabbing and staggered to a nearby duplex, where Karen Higgens also called for help while Higgens' husband, Charles, and niece, Samantha, applied pressure to the wound. Neighbors from across the street then ran over to perform CPR on her son, she said.

David Proulx said he and his wife, Kelly, have known Adam McClenithan since he was 10 years old. Proulx said Adam was sitting in a chair outside the duplex, bleeding from a stab wound under his right arm.

"He was losing a lot of blood, and he said he was starting to pass out," Proulx said. A 911 operator instructed them to lay Adam on the ground and perform CPR, Proulx said.

He said his wife is certified in CPR, and she gave Adam chest compressions while he performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until paramedics arrived.

"It was horrific. We did the best we could," Proulx said. "We want to express our condolences to his family."

McClenithan said her son's death has saddened everyone in their close-knit neighborhood.

"Everybody loved Adam. He had a very good heart," said a neighbor, Amber Watson, 22. "He'd help anybody who needed help."

His death was the first homicide on Pine Island since Christmas Day 2008, when Francisco Bernal, 39, was found beaten to death inside his Bokeelia home, Sheehan said. Deputies arrested Antonio Resillas, 36, on a second-degree murder charge in the case. Prosecutors later dropped the charge because of insufficient evidence.

Additional Facts
Crime Stoppers Reward
• Anyone knowing the whereabouts of David T. Chavez, 30, is asked to call Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 800-780-8477. Callers remain anonymous and are eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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