JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A neighborhood in Jacksonville Beach was left in limbo for months after suspected murderer Ronnie Hyde was arrested in March and his home subsequently raided by the FBI.
They are now happy to see something is being done about the property Hyde left behind as he remains in jail on no bond.
"I’m excited that it’s being taken down. It’s an ugly reminder of an uncomfortable case," says neighbor Jacqueline Ball.
Jacksonville Beach officials delivered a notice of violation to Hyde in jail back in March, giving him an ultimatum after deeming his home uninhabitable. He was ordered to either bring his property up to code or have it demolished.
On Wednesday morning, the demolition began and Jacksonville Beach Code Enforcement tells First Coast News the Hyde family decided demolition was the best route.
The city says a private investor is purchasing the property and plans to rebuild, something local realtor Carol Zingone says is no easy task.
"There is a stigma attached to the property and so you have to deal with what you have to deal with so you just tell people what happened in here and then ask are you interested?"
Hyde is still listed as the owner. It can take up to 30 days for a title change to become public record.
Code enforcement says there is still an outstanding lien on the property for more than $3,400 from when they had to board up the home following the FBI raid.
The city will send that bill to the owner in June, whether that’s still Hyde or the private developer they say is taking over the property.
The city says the code violation case against his property will not be closed until that outstanding lien is paid off.
As for Hyde's case, this week he filed a motion to sever counts, which means he wants the 23-year-old cold case murder of Fred Laster, of which he is accused, to be tried separately from his 12 counts of possession of child pornography.
His attorney Ann Finnell says they should be separate cases since they allegedly occurred more than two decades apart, with the murder case dating back to 1994 and the child pornography counts being added in 2017.
Hyde is expected back in court on June 19th for a pre-trial.
His attorney tells us he maintains his innocence.