Deputies: Pasco man 26, ‘lost control,’ used cane to murder roommate, 63

Jon Heffner was charged with second degree murder. Pasco County Jail booking photo

LAND O LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) — A 26-year-old Land O’ Lakes man is accused of murdering his 63-year-old roommate with a cane, then stuffing his body in a closet to hide the crime.

Detectives with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Jon Erik Heffner after the medical examiner determined his roommate, Charles Byrd, had died as a result of a homicide.

The medical examiner said that Byrd suffered from head, neck and mouth trauma.

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Heffner allegedly told deputies that he and his roommate shared a bedroom and in the past they had argued over the use of the television.

Heffner told deputies he approached Byrd from behind and without provocation and hit him 5 to 10 times over the head and neck area with a folded metal walking stick. Byrd fell to the ground and Heffner kicked him several times in the torso area.

According to an arrest affidavit, Heffner told the deputies that he “lost control” and he knew his roommate was dead because he was not breathing.

Heffner then allegedly pulled his dead roommate into the closet and posed the body on the closet floor to cover up the crime scene and make it look like Byrd died from natural causes.

Deputies say Heffner gave them the walking stick.

The pair lived at 2603 Wilsky Rd.

Heffner is charged with murder in the second degree. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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