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Florida Man Wanted For Murder Arrested at Church Service

Polk County resident John Skeen is accused of murdering his friend while on a fishing trip in Ruskin, Florida.

POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA — On Sunday, 56-year-old John Skeen was hauled out of a church service in Polk County and arrested for shooting his friend. Skeen was charged with second-degree murder with a firearm.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Skeen went to Ruskin on a fishing trip and was staying with a friend. When the two men returned home from a bar, they got into a verbal altercation. Skeen allegedly shot his friend and left him dead in his own home.

Skeen then returned to Polk County and went to church on Sunday. But the church had a special guest speaker – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. Deputies recognized Skeen from the warrant for his arrest in Hillsborough County and quietly brought him outside to avoid disrupting the church service.

“You could say that the devil is in the details,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said at a press conference, noting that Sheriff Judd happened to be the guest speaker that day.

Polk County deputies said Skeen asked if he could return to the church to “dedicate his life to the Lord” before going to jail. A deputy allowed him to go back for a moment of prayer before taking him to jail.

“What should have been a fun fishing trip filled with great memories turned into a tragic weekend,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement.