Florida Deputy Prays With Murder Suspect at Church – Arrests Him as Sheriff Grady Judd Speaks to Congregation

Florida Man John Skeen, 56, of Polk City, was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday morning at church for murder while Sheriff Grady Judd was speaking to the congregation.

Judd was speaking to the congregation when his phone began to ring repeatedly. Judd ignored the phone, and he only found out what had happened afterward.

An arrest warrant was issued Friday, March 10th, for Skeen, a suspect in a Hillsborough County murder who allegedly shot his friend during a fishing trip on Friday.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Skeen and two friends stayed at a Ruskin residence for a fishing trip.

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John Skeen

On Friday evening, the three went to a bar. When they returned home, John Skeen, 56, and the victim got into a verbal altercation. During the argument, deputies said Skeen shot his firearm and struck the victim.

Deputies were dispatched to the home on Manatee Drive around 10 p.m., where they located a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body.

The man was taken to a local hospital, where he later died. At this time, the victim’s identity has not yet been released.

Polk County deputies received information that Skeen would be at the Green Pond church in Polk City on Sunday, so they headed that way.

A scan of the church congregants showed their information was correct as Skeen was inside.

Polk County deputies were able to escort  Skeen out of the Church without incident or interrupting the service. Once outside, Skeen asked Sergeant Evans (the same sergeant who made news last week by assisting a woman giving birth in her car) if he could go back inside for the rest of the service so he could “dedicate his life to the Lord before going to jail.”

Sgt Evans told him that wouldn’t be an option. However, Evans told Skeen they could take a moment to pray together before going to the Sheriff’s Processing Center to be booked.

Skeen and Sergeant Evans prayed together outside of the Church, and then Skeen was transported to jail and charged with second-degree murder.

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