27-year-old man arrested, charged in Pinellas Park homicide

Posted at 12:41 PM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-27 12:48:45-05

Pinellas Park police have made an arrest in the Nov. 19 murder of a man behind The Shoppes at Park Place.

Corey Dean Palmer Watkins, 27, who was described as a transient, was arrested early Sunday on a charge of second degree murder in connection with the death of Will Joe Hodges, a Pinellas Park Police Department news release said.

Hodges' body was found in a commercial garbage bin at The Shoppes at Park Place at 7310 U.S. 19 N., the release states. During the homicide investigation, Pinellas Park police detectives identified Watkins by fingerprints left at the scene in they victim's blood.

Watkins was arrested without incident.

Watkins told detectives he previously stayed at the location where the homicide occurred, but denied any knowledge of Hodges' death, the release states. 

He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

Detectives plan to continue to investigate and try to determine a motive for the murder.