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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, September 18, 2006

House (un)warming

A Palm Beach County family hadn't been in their new home an entire day before tragedy struck. From today's Palm Beach Post.

THE ACREAGE — All Christopher Cote wanted to do was walk his dog in his new neighborhood.

But less than 24 hours after Cote and his family moved to The Acreage, the 19-year-old had been shot dead, allegedly by a neighbor who had threatened him for walking on his property early Sunday morning.

With a moving truck still parked in the Cotes' driveway, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigators Sunday began trying to determine why Jose L. Tapanes, 62, would shoot Cote twice in the stomach with a pistol-grip pump shotgun.

Tapanes was arrested Sunday on first-degree murder charges and is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail.


Violent Crime Division Detective Michael Bianchi said the incident began about 3:45 a.m. Sunday when Cote walked his dog along an easement just east of his new home. That's when Tapanes jumped out of the bushes with a stick and a gun and yelled at Cote for walking on his property, sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.

Disturbed that his new neighbor threatened him, Cote returned home and woke up his mother, sister and mother's fiancé. The family argued about whether they should call the sheriff's office.

Cote decided he would deal with his disgruntled neighbor alone. So he drove his 1995 Jeep Cherokee about 20 feet onto Tapanes' property, leaving his headlights on to illuminate the dark, reclusive home, Bianchi said. After honking his horn several times, Cote got out of the vehicle and banged on Tapanes' door.

When Tapanes opened the door, the men began to argue loudly. By this time, Cote's mother, Janet, and her fiancé, Shawn Murphy, had walked over to stop him from arguing.

But it was too late. Tapanes fired into Cote at close range as his family watched. Tapanes pumped the shotgun and fired again at Cote, who had fallen to the ground, according to a sheriff's office report.

When deputies arrived, Tapanes calmly told police he didn't mean to shoot Cote. Bianchi said Tapanes also told deputies that Cote had a pistol in his left hand, but no guns other than Tapanes' shotgun and small pellet pistol were found, the report stated.

"He didn't do anything in a threatening manner to warrant this," Barbera said.

The Cote family had just moved from Pompano Beach.


Wade Taylor has lived across the street from Tapanes for about six years and said he always felt his neighbor was a little odd.

"Nothing I could tell you about him makes sense," Taylor said. "Because he doesn't make sense."


Neighbor Darryl Hobson, who saw Tapanes walk his German shepherd every day, questioned why someone would go on his property in the early morning hours.

"Why would he walk onto his property at 3:30 in the morning... even if he was threatened?" he asked.
In retrospect a wiser course for Cote would have been to ignore Tapanes or just call the police. Going to his home was a dumb move but Tapanes killing the 19-year-old was an act of murder.

I feel sorry for Cote's family. There new house and neighborhood can't feel very welcoming now. I wouldn't be surprised if the family were to put the house back up for sale right away. For I'd have a hard time living there after what happened Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Linked to- Third World County,

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