TAMPA, Fla. - The man accused of brutally stabbing a 7-Eleven clerk to death Wednesday morning was extradited Friday afternoon back to Hillsborough County from Charlotte County to face first-degree felony murder charges.
Lawrence Bongiovanni, 20, was stone-faced as he was escorted by Hillsborough deputies into Orient Road Jail. Clad in a brown jumpsuit, he did not address the media or make eye contact.
Deputies say Bongiovanni is seen in surveillance video wearing a hoodie and jeans. They say he hid in the convenience store's bathroom and then waited for the clerk, Kenneth Lee Redding, to be alone and vulnerable. The entire crime was caught on tape.
A statewide manhunt for Bongiovanni and two of his friends ensued. Deputies worked with Florida Lottery officials to track the trio. Deputies say Bongiovanni stole scratch off lottery tickets and was cashing them in in both Sarasota and Charlotte Counties.
Bongiovanni was apprehended in Charlotte County after being found walking on a roadside.
His two friends, Russell Beasley and Brandan Green, were pulled over on Fruitville Road in Sarasota and arrested.
Atter questioning Beasley and Green, detectives determined they did not have enough evidence to connect them to the murder. Both were released.
According to Larry McKinnon with the HCSO, Beasley and Green will likely become material witnesses come trial time.
Bongiovanni is being held without bond.
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Southbound Dale Mabry is closed from Columbus Ave. south to at least Spruce Av. after a pedestrian was hit and killed by a fuel tanker Friday morning. The roadway will remain closed throughout rush hour. Use Himes as an alternate route.