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Pinellas fisherman dies from injuries from Sept. 12 beating

Published: October 5, 2012 Updated: March 18, 2013 at 03:56 PM
The three suspects allegedly boarded the victim's boat and beat him with tools.

A commercial fisherman died Thursday of injuries received from a Sept. 12 beating, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.Michael Merrill, 57, was beaten by three men at a marina just south of the Tom Stewart Causeway on Madeira Beach, deputies said.Three suspects were arrested between Sept. 14 and 18 and charged with aggravated battery. The State Attorney's Office is reviewing the case and the charges in light of his death.Timothy John Schuyler, 31, and Joshua Eugene Shroyer, 38, remain in custody. Kord Lynn Tucker, 39, was released on bond. All three suspects were described as transients.Deputies said the three suspects allegedly boarded Merrill's boat the Lilly Anne and confronted him late on the night of Sept. 11. He told them to leave, and reportedly threatened them with a knife.Reports indicate the three left the boat, but returned around 2 a.m. and began beating Merrill with hand tools and other objects. He was able to escape by diving into the water and hiding under the dock, deputies said. A friend found Merrill a short time later and called for assistance.Investigators have received conflicting accounts about what triggered the original beating incident.The investigation continues.