Historic City News has been able to finally decipher the cryptic bits and pieces of information coming from St Johns County undersheriff Matt Cline and the department’s civilian media spokesman, Chuck Mulligan. The actual sheriff, David B. Shoar, has not been seen or spoken in public about the felony murder that occurred yesterday in a residential neighborhood off SR-16.
The incident at hand is believed to be a botched robbery attempt by five Jacksonville area men, two of which are brothers. One of the brothers, 24-year-old Paul Eugene Pettigrew, Jr., was shot and killed by the homeowner at the crime scene reported to be at 2090 Cowan Road. According to the records of St Johns County Property Appraiser Eddie Creamer, that is not a valid address.
Since Pettigrew’s death came because of the robbery attempt, the remaining four accomplices are each charged with second-degree murder under Florida’s felony murder rule. No charges have been filed against the homeowner. The homeowner appears to have been acting in the lawful defense of his life and property; the State Attorney for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, R. J. Larizza, preliminarily finding that the shooting was justifiable.
The investigation revealed that Xavier Williams, Christopher Pettigrew, Zared Matthews, Jeffrey Balcom, and Paul Pettigrew traveled to 2090 Cowan Road in a white Dodge SUV, while acting in concert and with the intent of committing a robbery to the residents. During the robbery attempt, the homeowner armed himself with a handgun. He shot and killed Paul Pettigrew, thereby exposing the remaining defendants to the repercussions of the Florida Felony Murder statutes.
All four surviving robbers remain in custody without bond. The defendant Zared Matthews is also charged with a violation of §893.13.1a2 Florida Statutes; the sale of a Schedule I controlled substance, Marijuana, a third-degree felony. Bond on the additional charge is set at $50,000, according to booking records at the St Johns County Detention Facility.