Detectives now say the suspects in a string of Clearwater crimes were not involved in a Monday night shooting.
By CHRIS TISCH
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 2, 2001
LARGO -- Homicide detectives don't believe people suspected in a series of Clearwater robberies had anything to do with the Monday night slaying of Marco Waters.
Clearwater police detectives have charged Derrick Donte Works, 23, with five armed robberies, four of which occurred within two hours Sunday morning, police spokesman Wayne Shelor said.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office detectives investigated Works to see whether he had anything to do with the death of Waters, who was shot and robbed of his tax refund as he sat outside his girlfriend's duplex in the High Point area. Waters' sister said the refund amounted to $5,000. Waters' sister and his girlfriend said two men -- one masked and one with a bandana over his face -- ambushed Waters and took his wallet. One of the men was armed with a silver handgun; he stopped and shot Waters once in the chest before running away.
Pinellas detectives talked to Works and also were searching for Willie James Clark, 23, whom they suspected was one of his associates. Clark turned himself in to authorities in Hillsborough County late Wednesday and was questioned by detectives, said Pinellas sheriff's Detective Lt. Steve Shipman.
Shipman said Thursday that investigators believe neither had anything to do with Waters' death. Works was substantially taller than descriptions given of Waters' assailants. Clark had an alibi for around the time of the shooting, Shipman said.
Shipman said investigators were receiving tips from the community that named Waters and Clark as suspects. But those tips turned out to be exaggerations.
"I think it was a lot of hot air," he said. "We're not seriously looking at them as suspects."
Shelor said Clark had not been charged in connection with any of the robberies.
However, Janine Macy, 17, has been charged in connection with three of the Clearwater robberies. She also was charged with grand theft of a firearm, Shelor said.
Shipman said Pinellas homicide detectives were chasing other leads on Thursday, but said he couldn't say what they were.
Anyone with information about the shooting death of Marco Waters is asked to call Detective Kevin Bennett at 582-6779.