An off-duty Pasco County Sheriff’s deputy
stumbled across a grisly scene Saturday night as he was traveling southbound on
Interstate 75 in the Wesley Chapel area.
The deputy noticed a vehicle parked on the shoulder and pulled over to find out what was going on just before 7 p.m. Sept. 7. When he did, he came across a man with multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen sitting in the front passenger seat of a silver four-door Acura. Two other men, Justin Phillip Gonzalez and Jesse Michael Blair, were also present.
After being read Miranda rights, Blair told deputies he and Gonzalez “planned to commit the murder due to the victim being a ‘snitch,’” an arrest report stated. Gonzalez told deputies he was driving the vehicle, handed a knife to Blair, who was in the back seat, and that Blair stabbed the man.
Blair told deputies Gonzalez also stabbed Leon A. Mascorro, 20, of Bristol, Fla., with the knife.
Blair, 23, of Lakeland and Gonzalez, 22, of Crossville, Tenn., were both charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, the report said.
The incident closed a portion of Interstate 75 for several hours Saturday.