The man accused of pulling the trigger in the deadly shooting on Interstate 4 Saturday made his first appearance in court Tuesday. The judge denied Jerome Hayes bond and told him there's a lot of evidence against him.
Hayes' Attorney Nick Matassini, Jr. talked to FOX 13. He says this is no open and shut case. Hayes, who lives in St. Cloud, turned himself in after being questioned by investigators. However, Matassini says he's not guilty.
"Soft spoken, nice guy," said Matassini. "You take a look at him and talk to him, he does not seem like the kind of person who could possibly commit this kind of crime."
Court papers detail evidence against Hayes. A manager at the Tampa Gold Club says Hayes and his friend got into a fight with another man at the strip club Saturday afternoon.
The manager says then Hayes and the friend waited outside in a gray Ford Taurus and followed a green Mustang out of the parking lot.
Investigators say Hayes mistakenly thought it was the man they had argued with in the club. But, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office says it was someone else: Fred Turner, who was from Orlando.
"Unfortunately, it was a case of mistaken identity and being in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Colonel Donna Lusczynski at a press conference announcing the arrest Monday.
The arrest affidavit also says the club manager identified Hayes as the person who got behind the wheel of the Taurus. Not helping his case, Hayes is the registered owner of that make and model vehicle.
Also, Turner told 911 minutes before he was killed that a man driving a gray Taurus was waving a gun and following him.
Investigators say that chilling call, the manager's statements, and club surveillance video all point to Hayes. His attorney doesn't dispute that he was at the club Saturday, but rather what happened next.
"The question is going to be can law enforcement link my client leaving these establishments and then heading on Interstate 4 and then coming ultimately into contact with the victim of the shooting," Matassini said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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