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Longboat murder suspect suffers stroke in prison

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Darryl Hanna, Jr., the man accused of murdering two employees at the Longboat Key Zota Beach Resort last August, is suffering from a medical condition that has rendered him reportedly “non responsive.”

The day before Hurricane Irma struck the region, Hanna suffered a “medical episode” according to court records that has been described as a “stroke-like event” and he was evacuated ahead of the storm on Sept. 9 to a hospital in Ruskin.

Hanna, 29, was not able to appear at an arraignment hearing last Thursday, where he was to face charges of two counts of second-degree murder and robbery with a deadly weapon.

Hanna remains in the Manatee County Jail infirmary and is under 24-hour care and monitoring according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department.

 

The crime

The murders were discovered by Longboat Key Police in the early morning hours of Aug. 4 when the bodies of Security Guard Kevin Carter and Hotel Night Manager Timothy Hurley were found with gunshot wounds.

Following the murders, police released surveillance video that showed a man carrying a semi-automatic pistol and a cash box. This released video brought in tips and leads that along with the detective work of Longboat Key Lieutenant Det. Robert Bourque as well as a regional task force led to the arrest of Hanna five days later.

Hanna’s Facebook page showed him holding a firearm in his left hand as well as carrying one on his left hip, which bore a resemblance to the left-handed mannerisms displayed in the surveillance video.

According to Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming, the case against Hanna is “rock solid” but the suspect’s medical state could lead to an outcome that was not expected by police.

Some reports have characterized Hanna’s medical condition as “brain dead” and if the coma-like state continues, it would lead to a judge making a determination as to whether Hanna would be released to the care of family. That determination will be predicated on a finding that Hanna could not stand trail due to his state and competency.

Hanna had worked as a security guard for a brief period prior to the murders and co-workers told police that he had numerous gripes about pay and hours with his employer, Victory Security, which provided security for the Zota Resort. Hanna had resigned in the days prior to the murder.

 

Could be an accomplice

Cumming told Longboat Key News this week that he still could not and would not rule out that there may be an accomplice that may be involved in the murders. An accomplice could have been a direct participant in the murders or simply aided in the crime, its planning, or in actions aiding or abetting after the murder.

The murders were the first to occur on Longboat Key in more than 16 years and eventually a reward of $50,000 for leads was established.

Cumming credits Longboat Key’s use of license place recognition cameras at both ends of the island as well as cell phone records as key elements in tying Hanna to the murders.  Hanna lived in east Bradenton where he was arrested without incident before his incarceration without bond.

The next court date is scheduled to be held in February, which will likely begin the process of a competency hearing.

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