February 08, 2008

Ormond robbery suspect kills guard, self in Miami

Staff Writer

DAYTONA BEACH -- A suspect in an Ormond-by-the-Sea robbery, kidnapping and beating killed himself in Miami Beach after killing a security guard, authorities said Thursday.


Ernest Heape, 29, formerly of DeBary, walked out of a CVS Pharmacy on Wednesday night after shoplifting a few items and shot and killed the loss prevention guard who confronted him. As police closed in on Heape, he shot himself in the head and died at the scene, said Gary Davidson, spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
A Volusia County warrant had been issued for Heape for the Jan. 26 attack on Scott MeEvoy, 58, at his vacation home on Oceanside Drive.

Left for dead, McEvoy is lucky to be alive, Davidson said. He was found at 11:19 p.m. on Ocean Shore Boulevard bleeding from his head.

His injuries were so severe he could not tell investigators what had happened at the time.

"We really believe he thought the victim was dead," Davidson said. "He came back and checked on (McEvoy) a couple of times and then left."

McEvoy, whose condition is improving enough so he can talk to investigators, walked in on his assailant about 8 p.m. as Heape burglarized his home.

McEvoy told investigators Heape confronted him with a gun, ordered him into his own car, drove him around town and forced him to make withdrawals from his bank account, Davidson said. Records show McEvoy made five ATM withdrawals between 8:31 and 9:36 p.m. totaling $900.

Upon returning to the house, Heape tried to strangle McEvoy with plastic wrap, Davidson said. When that failed, McEvoy was beaten, kicked and struck in the head. Convinced he had killed McEvoy, Heape left in the victim's Cadillac, which was found burned and abandoned in DeBary.

Fingerprints identified Heape as the prime suspect, Davidson said.

Heape did not have a long criminal history; however, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity for a 2005 kidnapping, burglary and aggravated assault.

McEvoy is still hospitalized and was listed in satisfactory condition Thursday afternoon.

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