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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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St. Pete Beach man held in beating death in Pinellas sheriff’s van

CLEARWATER – A 59-year-old Treasure Island man who was attacked by another man in a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office prisoner transport van in July died Thursday, prompting another review of the assault, authorities said.

Thomas Morrow, who was taken into protective custody for substance abuse problems, was attacked July 6 by Leonard Lanni, 37, a St. Pete Beach resident who had been arrested on disorderly conduct charges, as they were being transported to the Pinellas County Jail, authorities said. Their transportation was under the control of a private company that contracts with the sheriff’s office.

Lanni was first charged with aggravated battery following the assault; then, a month later, the charge was upgraded to second-degree murder. Prosecutors are expected to decide whether to now charge Lanni with murder.

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