Florida man John Skeen prays with police outside church after arrest for murder

NEWS: Florida man John Skeen prays with police outside church after arrest for murder

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A Florida murder suspect was arrested at church Sunday morning — and before he was hauled off to jail, he shared a prayer with the sergeant who busted him, according to authorities.

The bizarre scenario played out in Polk County when sheriff deputies went inside the church in hopes of finding 56-year-old John Skeen, authorities said.

Skeen was spotted and agreed to go outside without disrupting the service that also happened to be attended by the deputies’ boss, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

John Skeen was arrested and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing his friend during a fishing trip.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office

But after Skeen left, he wanted to go back inside, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

Skeen allegedly asked a sergeant if he could attend the rest of the service so he could “dedicate his life to the Lord before going to jail,” the sheriff’s office said.

That request was quickly dismissed, but the sergeant compromised and told Skeen the two could pray together before he was booked back at headquarters.

“And that’s just what they did,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release. “Suspect and deputy prayed together outside of the church, and then off he went to jail.”

Sheriff Judd was at the church Sunday because he was a guest speaker at the service.

Skeen is accused of fatally shooting one of his friends during a verbal altercation Friday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The suspect, victim and one other pal were on a fishing trip at the time of the deadly gunfire, authorities said.

He’s facing a second-degree murder with a firearm charge.

 “What should have been a fun fishing trip filled with great memories, turned into a tragic weekend,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “Violence is never the solution to a disagreement. Our hearts are with this victim’s family and we hope this arrest will bring some sense of closure to the loved ones.”

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