Florida police charge 3 more in fatal attack on Columbia tourists 1 of 7 suspects still sought in 2 spring break deaths

June 04, 1998|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

Florida police have charged three more men in connection with a brutal attack in April on three Columbia men, making what may be the final arrests in the case.

The new arrests bring the total to seven Florida men charged with beating and stabbing Matthew Wichita, Kevans Bradshaw Hall II and Seth Qubeck. Wichita, 21, and Hall, 23, were killed. Qubeck, 21, was critically injured after being stabbed 17 times.

Police "think that's all the people involved," said Mike Brouillette, spokesman for the New Smyrna Beach Police Department.

The latest arrests did little to comfort Jennifer Tiemeyer, Wichita's girlfriend.

"It's nice to know that these people are being caught. It still doesn't bring him back to me," said Tiemeyer, 20.

Police on Tuesday morning charged Daniel Matthew Beard, 17, of New Smyrna Beach, with attempted first-degree murder in the attack on Qubeck. James Hamilton Kirkland III, 22, of Edgewater, Fla., was charged with aggravated battery on Wichita.

Both were arrested and released Tuesday after processing. Beard was released on his own recognizance. Kirkland posted $2,500 bail.

On Monday, a Florida judge issued an arrest warrant for Christopher Trull, 25, charging him with murder in the deaths of Hall and Wichita. Police continue to search for Trull, whose two brothers have been indicted on murder charges in the case.

The three Columbia men and two other friends were staying in a beachfront condominium on a nine-day spring break trip to New Smyrna Beach, just south of Daytona Beach.

Police said the men came to the aid of a woman who was being harassed by a group of Florida men. After a fistfight, the Florida men returned with baseball bats and knives.

Authorities believe that after the fistfight, Joshua Trull, 17, along with Daniel Stephan Osborne, 19, and Neil Ryan Kirkland, 20, both of Edgewater, Fla., went to a nearby house to call their brothers and friends to help them settle a score with the Columbia men.

A witness told police that she heard Joshua Trull make several phone calls and that he told at least one person "to get knives and a ski mask," according to police reports.

The day after the attack, authorities arrested Trull and his older brother, Jonathan Trull, 27, who, police say, has a tattoo of the Grim Reaper on his arm. They are now charged with murder.

Police also arrested Neil Kirkland -- the younger brother of James Kirkland -- on charges of aggravated battery. Osborne is charged with being a principal to second-degree murder.

Pub Date: 6/04/98

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