JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Exactly 23 years ago from June 5, 2017, the dismembered torso of Fred Laster was found in a dumpster.
The man charged with his murder, Ronnie Hyde, is still behind bars awaiting a trial as his Jacksonville Beach home was demolished.
A ‘For Sale’ sign was up only briefly in front of Hyde’s home back in April. At the end of May, a Jacksonville Beach spokesperson told First Coast News that Hyde's family decided to have the house torn down.
The construction company says they've been dealing with a representative for Hyde.
As of the first week of June, sources tell First Coast News the potential investor who wanted to buy the property could be backing out because of all the "bad press" associated with it.
As for Hyde's murder case, he requested a motion for severance last week, asking for his 12 counts of possession of child pornography to be tried separately from his murder charge, but the state doesn’t seem to be budging.
In their report detailing their findings in the case, the state claims the pornography counts act as quote “admissible proof of other crimes, wrongs, or acts during the trial”.
In that same report, the state describes what investigators were searching for on Hyde’s property, like "clandestine graves" or "personal property of victim Fred Laster".
They also describe the witnesses in the case. Some witnesses are raising eyebrows, like former Columbia County deputy Arthur Picklo.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office says he worked on the Hyde case back in 1994 but left to work as a state insurance investigator.
He is now serving time in federal prison for violating a man’s rights by trying to kill and rob him.
The sheriff’s office says Picklo borrowed a gun from another deputy before the alleged shooting.
Another witness listed in question is Dr. Margarita Arruza, former medical examiner, who previous attorneys have called into question because of her quote “debilitating memory loss”.
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