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Polk deputy finds murder suspect at church, prays with him, then arrests him

By Nathaniel Rodriguez,

2023-03-14

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POLK CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Polk County deputy arrested a suspect in a Hillsborough County murder after tracking him down at a Sunday morning church service, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said John Skeen, 56, Polk City was wanted on a murder charge after he allegedly shot his friend during a fishing trip in Ruskin on March 10.

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Polk County deputies said they tracked him down to a church service in Polk City Sunday and managed to get him out of the service without interrupting it.

“One more interesting note about this story is that this particular church had a guest speaker at that service—Sheriff Grady Judd,” the sheriff’s office said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Skeen asked Sgt. Evans — who recently made headlines for helping a woman give birth in her car — if he could go back inside the church to “dedicate his life to the Lord before going to jail.”

Evans joined Skeen on the way back into the church to pray for a moment before arresting him.

Skeen was charged with second-degree murder for the incident, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

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