Arrests made in slaying of man
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 2:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 2:07 p.m.
Suwannee County officers arrested two men Thursday after discovering the body of another man, partially buried in woods south of Interstate 10.
Deputies arrested Edward R. Spencer, 41, and Steven Michael Wells, 36, in the slaying of James Flowers, said Suwannee County Sheriff Tony Cameron.
Flowers, 41, died after he was choked and his throat was cut during a fight late Wednesday in a homeless camp located about a half mile north of the Live Oak city limits, Cameron said.
The three men lived at the encampment and had argued earlier in the day, according to the Sheriff's Office. The argument flared again that night.
“They held him down, the two of them, choked him and cut his throat,” Cameron said.
A witness at the camp saw the attack, the sheriff said, but was afraid to immediately come forward.
That night, however, the man saw two officers at a nearby convenience store and told them what had happened.
When officers entered the encampment, they found Flowers' body.
“The body was partially buried. Knees were partially sticking out of the ground,” Cameron said.
Investigators don't know what started the fight but reported alcohol may have been involved.
“There was alcohol all over back there,” Cameron said.
“They talked about he was a loudmouth and this and that,” Cameron explained some of the details officers had learned about the altercation. But, he said, “It involved more than that I think.”
Officers had to search the woods near the camp to find Spencer and Wells, who ran from the site. About a dozen officers from different law enforcement agencies including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Live Oak Police Department and the Sheriff's Office participated in the search.
Both Spencer and Wells were taken to the Suwannee County jail, according to officers.
The crime is the county's first murder investigation this year, the sheriff reported.
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