Murdered UNF employee was victim in 2015 burglary, trial was to begin this week

Jason Rantala reports. 9/22/2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  A popular long-time University of North Florida employee murdered in his home during an apparent home invasion Wednesday was set to testify in a burglary trial this week.

Joe Brenton, was killed at his home on V C Johnson Road early Wednesday morning. Police report his wife and child were also in the home. They escaped safely and are now with detectives. 

Brenton and his wife were victims of a burglary in January 2015. No one was home at the time. 

Jecorian Leon McCray, 21, and a juvenile suspect were arrested for the burglary. McCray's trial was began this week but has since been delayed.

Brenton told police McCray and the juvenile were acquaintances of his daughter. Both Brenton and his wife were scheduled to testify in the trial.

Police reports obtained by First Coast News say several items of jewelry, checks and prescription medication were taken in the burglary. Police say Brenton's wife identified McCray using surveillance video at the home.

McCray had served a prison sentence for robbery with a deadly weapon and has been in jail since being arrested in January 2015 on a hold out of Leon County.

The State Attorney's Office tells First Coast News that the murder case remains an "active investigation." 

Neither anyone from the State Attorney's Office nor police have publicly tied the burglary and murder cases.


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