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Police ID suspect, victim in stabbing

Early

Early

Starke police have identified the victim and suspect of an early Sunday killing at the Magnolia Hotel.

Police have charged Stephen Lamont Early Jr.,20, with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Quinton Maurice Epps, 27.Police also charged the 20-year-old with making a false report, claiming Early made the 911 call reporting the stabbing, then later fled the scene. According to police, investigator Mark Lowery located Early and interviewed him at police headquarters where Early first admitted to being in a domestic relationship with the victim and later confessed to engaging in an argument with Epps. Later, Early admitted stabbing the victim in left chest area.

Police also found a serrated steak knife near the crime scene, the possible murder weapon.

The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Magnolia Hotel between 3:30 and 4 a.m. The boarding house lies across the street from the Starke post office. The parking lot is west of the building bordered by the hotel, Jefferson Street., the Santa Fe College parking lot and the Bradford County Telegraph office.

The charges against the defendant are not proven and he is presumed innocent until adjudicated guilty by a court.

Click here for a related story: 1 dead, 1 arrested after stabbing at Magnolia Hotel

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