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Crime & Courts

Neighbor arrested in July strangulation of South Tampa man

Tribune staff
Published:   |   Updated: September 18, 2013 at 09:11 AM

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Tampa police have arrested a man wanted in the July murder of a South Tampa man.

Robert Thomas, 35, was charged with second-degree murder. He’s accused of strangling Dwayne Martin, police said.

The men, who lived in the same neighborhood and knew each other about three weeks, were drinking at Martin’s home, 3201 W. Price Ave., on July 16.

They began to argue; the nature of the dispute remains under investigation, police said.

Thomas attacked Martin and strangled him, police said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Tuesday provided Tampa police homicide detectives a positive DNA match for Thomas. The DNA came from the blood found on Martin. The matching DNA was also found in Martin’s home the night of the murder, police said.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force located Thomas at his home. He was arrested without incident, police said.

Martin, 50, was a lifelong South Tampa resident. He attended Robinson High School and painted offices and houses for a living.

Martin’s body was found the night of July 16 when a person walking by the home noticed his front door was open.

The witness walked to the front door and peaked in the home. Martin was dead inside his home. The witness called 911.

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