Arrest made in murder near Jacksonville Beach shopping center | News

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Arrest made in murder near Jacksonville Beach shopping center

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office arrested a 28-year-old homeless woman on charges related to a suspicious death that happened Sunday evening.

Deputies arrested Brenda Muniz on a charge of homicide - willful killing. Santiago is being held at the St. Johns County Jail on $750,000 bond.

Muniz was booked into the jail shortly after 11:00 p.m. Sunday.

Police were called to the wooded area behind the Target shopping plaza at Marsh Landing Parkway and A1A early Sunday evening. The shopping center is located near the Duval and St. Johns county line.

Sgt. Tom Bingham with the Jacksonville Beach Police Department said the incident involved two homeless people. 

Corporal Catherine Payne, Public Information Officer with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, said Sunday that police found a man dead. Police believe the man killed is Muniz's boyfriend, 35-year-old Luther Hardmon, Payne said.

Payne said the area where they found the man friends called "Lutea" has been an active transient camp for quite some time.

Monday Payne released additional details in Harmon's death. The Medical Examiner determined Hardmon had been stabbed.

Payne said Muniz allegedly stabbed Hardmon during an altercation.  Police have not yet established an exact motive Payne said.

First Coast News has learned that members of Hardamon's family did not know he was homeless.

Muniz has two prior misdemeanor arrests in Duval County. In October of this year she was arrested for disorderly conduct. For that charge she paid $383 in court fees. In April of 2010 Muniz was arrested for domestic battery. That charge was dropped.

Police arrested Hardmon at the same time as Muniz in October. At the time Hardmon was charged with disorderly intoxication. Hardmon plead no contest, was found guilty and sentenced to one day in jail for which he received credit for time served and had to pay a $48 fine. First Coast News reported on Hardmon in July 2005 when he was arrested with another man for selling thousands of bootleg CD's and DVD's.


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