BRANDON - The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested three people for the murder of a man whose body was found in a burning dumpster
early Tuesday morning.
Deputies say 20-year-olds Brendan Terry and Kasey Ackerman and 18-year-old David Link II, all of Brandon, were arrested late Tuesday night after they were questioned by authorities.
Terry and Ackerman were charged with first degree murder while Link was charged with accessory after the fact in first degree murder.
According to the sheriff's office, the victim, who has not been identified, was brutally beaten and stabbed at the apartment the three suspects shared before he was set on fire in a dumpster behind a medical building on East Brandon Boulevard.
Firefighters found the body after they extinguished the blaze around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Investigators say the victim met Terry, Ackerman, and Link outside the Brandon Town Center on May 3 and came to their apartment to use various drugs. Upon his arrival, deputies say the victim used Xanax, became incoherent, and passed out in Ackerman's bedroom.
Ackerman and Terry then began stabbing the victim in the chest and neck, and, according to detectives, an unnamed witness saw the victim bleeding from the neck while standing the bedroom doorway.
Deputies say that the victim was then ordered to take off his clothes and get into the bathtub, where Ackerman continued to kick and punch him. Soon after, detectives say Ackerman noted that the victim was not dead and stabbed him in the neck again.
The suspects then put the victim, who was still alive, according to the unnamed witness, into a duffel bag and used a dolly to cart him from the apartment to the dumpster behind the Florida Orthopaedic Institute, less than a block away.
Investigators say Ackerman then poured gasoline, which Link and the unnamed witness had been sent to purchase at a nearby gas station, over the victim and ignited the fire.
The witness told deputies that the victim could be heard screaming from the dumpster as the fire was set.