Police in Clearwater, Fla., said they arrested 16-year-old Mychal King on Thursday for the stabbing death of 22-year-old Jason Taylor Paul, WFTS-TV reported. According to reports, the young black man admitted killing Paul because he “had a bad day.”
Police told WFTS King said he stabbed Paul to death because he “just wanted to kill the first person he saw” after a hard day with his family.
Authorities said Paul was stabbed multiple times with a military-style knife while riding his bike home from work late on the night of January 6.
According to WFTS, Paul’s parents have been “been distraught since the news” of their son’s death and offered a $10,000 reward for information.
Renee Langfritz, Paul’s mother, described her son as an intelligent, loving, funny man, WFTS added.
“This coward, truly a coward, who would leave a young innocent man to die alone in the dark in the middle of the street, must be caught,” she said. Langfritz last saw her son on Christmas Day.
At first, she thought he might have been hit by a driver, and was stunned to learn her son was murdered.
“I never dreamed in my wildest dreams that someone would have killed him,” she said.
The Tampa Bay Times said a driver passing by discovered Paul’s body.
Clearwater police Chief Anthony Holloway said there was no robbery, and no indication that drugs were involved.
“This was a very senseless crime,” he said.
The Times said King has a lengthy criminal record and has been arrested on several charges this year alone, including aggravated battery, possession of cocaine and vehicle theft. King was already being held at the Pinellas County Jail for other charges unrelated to the murder.
“Because he is a juvenile,” the Times added, “police would not disclose Thursday why he is currently in jail.”
Police will request that the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office charge King with first-degree murder as an adult, the Times said.
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