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Friday, January 23, 2009

FL- Registered sex offender murdered in St.Petersburg

1-23-2009 Florida:

ST.PETERSBURG, FL -- Police are investigating the murder of a registered sex offender.

Officers responded to a call of "shots heard" in the 2400 block of Highland Street South on Thursday night shortly before 8:00. When they arrived, officers discovered a white Ford E150 van had crashed into the rear of a parked, unattended silver Suzuki sedan.

Officers found Carmen Tungate slumped over in the driver's seat of the van. He had a gunshot wound to the upper body.

It appears that he lost control of his van after he was shot, and hit the sedan.

Tungate was taken to Bayfront Medical Center where he was pronounced dead about five hours later.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, Tungate was a registered sexual offender.

Investigators say they have no other details at this time. ..News Source.. by Carly Timmons


Manatee killer is murdered in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating the slaying of a man who was shot Thursday night while driving his van in the Cromwell Heights neighborhood.

Police say 40-year-old Carmen Tungate, who had served 10 years in a state prison in the 1990s for a murder in Manatee County, was driving his white work van about 8 p.m. in the 2400 block of Highland Street S, when a bullet hit him in the upper torso.

Tungate, of 2500 54th Ave. N, Lot 283, lost control of the van and crashed into a parked silver Suzuki. Police found Tungate slumped over in his seat.

An ambulance took him to Bayfront Medical Center, and he died just after midnight Thursday. No suspects have been identified.

Tungate, a registered sex offender, had a lengthy criminal record who made headlines in Manatee County when he strangled his former boss, Ballapuram Umakanthan, in 1988 at the Econo Lodge, 6727 14th St. W. Tungate was 19 at the time.

He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1989, but was released in 1999 because of a state Supreme Court ruling that granted early release to a small group of offenders.

“He ended up spending 10 years on a murder charge, which was insane,” said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Bristow said he remembers Tungate’s name and face well. At the time of Tungate’s release, then-Sheriff Charlie Wells opposed the court’s decision and called it “legal escape,” according to newspaper accounts.

Once out, Tungate picked up a string of arrests for sexual offenses, including exposing himself to several teenage boys in Sarasota in 2004.

“That wasn’t a real shock to us,” Bristow said.

Despite his past, Tungate was turning his life around, said his mother, Anna Hardin.

“He wasn’t a saint, but he was a good person,” Hardin said Friday from her Bradenton home. “There’s always two sides to a coin.”

When Tungate got out of prison, Hardin said, he got a job working for an air conditioning company. He lived in Palace Mobile Home Park, a community that has become a magnet for many of the county’s registered sex offenders.

Hardin said Tungate decided to go back to school and was taking online college courses.

“He was a good person with a problem,” Hardin said. “He was trying to better himself.”

Hardin said she last saw her son in the early evening hours Thursday. He left her Bradenton home, telling a nephew he was going to the library.

“Whoever did it, I’m not looking for revenge,” his mother said. “We all pay for our sins.” ..Source.. by KAMEEL STANLEY - St. Petersburg Times


ZMan! said...

It still doesn't give anyone the right to murder him, but Tungate was also a convicted murderer.

Unkown said...

Us his family dont care what he did and we are not mad at these people but they need to stop making comments!