A Florida man has been apprehended by authorities in the killing of his roommate, whom he allegedly shot and killed with a high-powered pellet gun more than two months ago.
Jesse Franklin Hill, 42, was arrested on Friday in the fatal May shooting of his then-roommate, Ernie Wilburn, WKMG-TV reported.
Authorities received a report of a dead body in Hill’s home in unincorporated Lake County around 10:00 am on May 4, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com. The victim, later identified as Wilburn, was found dead underneath a sheet and couch cushions inside the dwelling.
Hill initially claimed that he’d found Wilburn’s corpse when he woke up that morning, shortly before calling the police.
Officials, however, allege Hill first made the gruesome discovery at roughly 7:00 am when a third person came by the house and told him there was a dead body in the living room. Hill allegedly then “spent several hours trying to formulate an explanation for the remains within the residence,” per the case’s probable cause affidavit.
Detectives observed evidence indicating Hill had made various attempts to “conceal and attempt to cover up” the 44-year-old man’s slaying, charging documents stated. Witnesses also disclosed to detectives that Hill made statements about burying Wilburn’s body behind his residence in the woods before the police were called.
An autopsy found a .22 caliber pellet-like projectile in one of Wilburn’s warp, Daytona Beach television station WESH reported. His death was ruled a homicide due to a gunshot wound, according to an autopsy, and investigators stated they “believed that the victim suffered for an extended period of time prior to his death.”
They also believe Wilburn’s body had been moved before their arrival, citing witness statements and a pool of blood elsewhere in the room.