|Richard A. McTear Jr. allegedly killed his former girlfriend's 3-month-old son after arguing with her. (Martha Rial/St. Petersburg Times)|
Man accused of tossing baby out of car
TAMPA - A 21-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder yesterday after police said he snatched his former girlfriend's 3-month-old son during a fight and then threw the baby from his car on an interstate highway.
The child's body was found near Interstate 275 north of downtown Tampa early yesterday. The man, Richard A. McTear Jr., was captured several hours later. Deputies said he is not the child's father.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said McTear was arguing with his 17-year-old former girlfriend, Jasmine Bedwell, at her apartment when he began beating her and the child. She reported that McTear threw her son, Emanuel Wesley Murray, down on the concrete, then picked him up and fled in his Chevrolet Impala.
Jason Bird, a news photographer for WTVT-TV in Tampa, spotted the baby's body on his way to work at about 4:30 a.m.
"On the side of the road, I saw something out of the corner of my eye and at first I thought it was a baby doll, and then as I was thinking about it more I thought that was awfully big for a doll," Bird said.
Deputies located McTear's car at his home. He was arrested four hours later after a chase.
McTear had previously been arrested on charges including felony battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and domestic battery by strangulation.
Last month, Bedwell sought an injunction against McTear for domestic violence, but the case was dropped because she didn't appear in court.
In court papers, Bedwell said McTear was violent, often armed, and had a drug problem.