Two men were arrested this weekend for the robbery and arson which caused the death of an elderly Tampa man last week.
Investigators reported that early Thursday morning, four suspects entered Richard Lee Blackman’s home, robbed him, and set the house on fire. A clerk at a local convenient store reported the fire at about 1:39 a.m.
When firefighters arrived at the house, they found in up in flames and found 65-year-old Blackman in the living room. The victim was taken to Tampa general hospital where he later died. Neither the house nor the man survived.
Polk County Sherriff’s Office arrested 34-year-old Kermit Sanford of Winter Haven Saturday night. The Orange County Sherriff’s Office arrested Tanner Harrison, 19, of Eagle Lake, Sunday morning.
Both men have lengthy criminal records. Sanford record in Polk County includes arrests for battery, grand theft, retail theft, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Harrison’s Polk County record, dating back to 2010, includes charges of marijuana possession, assaulting a firefighter or EMT, and disorderly conduct.
Tampa police spokeswoman, Laura McElroy, reported that it is unclear if the suspects knew Blackman.