news 1 week ago

Man convicted of beating mother to death with a baseball bat

The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A 21-year-old Florida man was convicted Thursday of beating his mother to death with a baseball bat.

A Hillsborough County jury took less than an hour to find Joshua Carmona guilty of first-degree murder, the Tampa Bay Times reported. He faces a life sentence.

Defense attorneys didn't deny that Carmona killed his mother, but argued there was no premeditation.

“This was an 18-year-old teenager spiraling out of control,” Assistant Public Defender Dana Herce-Fulgueira said in closing arguments.

Prosecutors cited Carmona's detailed confession, in which he described making a conscious choice to kill his mother in March 2017 on her 39th birthday.

“Today, I woke up and I decided," Carmona told detectives in a video-recorded interview. “I killed my mom today.”

Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner emphasized a number of statements Carmona made in the video.

“He talks about decisions and he talks about plans,” Pruner said. “Decisions and plans are conscious efforts, conscious mental efforts to sort through options ... you can see the deliberate steps he took to kill his mother.”

On the day Tahirih D’Angelo was killed, she left the family's Riverview townhouse and returned a short time later. Camrona told investigators that he directed her attention to part of a banister that he’d smashed with a baseball bat. As she looked at the damage, he began striking her in the head. After she appeared to be dead, Camrona retrieved a knife from the kitchen and cut his mother's neck, according to authorities.

Camrona later took his mother's car and picked up his then 3-year-old half-sister at day care. He said he spent some time with a friend at a local park. He eventually drove off, leaving the little girl with his friend. He was arrested hours later in Tampa.