The first time deputies arrested Samuel Morrissey Jr., he faced charges of possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed firearm. He plead no contest in September, and the judge gave him a break by withholding adjudication.
Ten days later, the 20-year-old asked for his Glock .9 mm pistol back.
The second time deputies arrested Morrissey, they charged him with carrying a concealed semiautomatic and felony possession of marijuana. The charge was lowered to a misdemeanor, and Morrissey was released on bail.
The third time deputies arrested him was late Friday. This time he is accused of shooting and killing Durant High School football player Grover Wills.
Morrissey, of 9824 Ocasta St. in Riverview, was being held without bail Saturday at the Hillsborough County jail and faces a second-degree murder charge, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s detectives said Morrissey shot Wills, 18, during a marijuana sale that went bad.
Wills’ stepfather, Travis Jones, said he couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that Morrissey was out of jail.
"That’s crazy that they let him slide like that," Jones said. "They just let him go, and he took my baby. It’s very hard. My mind feels like a thousand pieces."
Morrissey and Wills chatted on social media and then met at a Mobil gasoline station at 612 W Lumsden Road in Brandon just before 8 p.m. on April 15, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Danny Alvarez.
Morrissey later told detectives he had brought marijuana and a .38-caliber revolver to the station, Alvarez said.
During the deal, Wills paid for the pot using counterfeit bills sandwiched between real ones. When Morrissey realized the money was fake, he tried to take the marijuana back. During a struggle, he shot Wills once, Alvarez said.
Wills ran to his car and an unidentified driver took him to a hospital where he died, Alvarez said.
Morrissey’s most recent drug arrest was in late January during a traffic stop, according to court records. The arresting deputy said Morrissey had more than 20 grams of marijuana at the time and a semiautomatic pistol. Morrissey faces misdemeanor charges for possession of cannabis and carrying a weapon. He had been expected in court on May 3 for those.
Morrissey’s first arrest was in August, and resolved a month later. It’s unclear if he got his gun back.
Wills was a corner back and free safety for the Durant High Cougars, and he had hopes of playing football in college, Mike Gottman, head coach at Durant for nearly 15 years, has said.
Hundreds of parents, students and teachers filled the Durant football field this past Wednesday night for a candle light vigil to remember Wills.
Contact Jonathan Capriel at 813-225-3141 or [email protected] Follow @jonathancapriel.