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Deputies: Safety Harbor homicide victim killed by neighbor over unpaid debt

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Posted at 1:45 PM, Oct 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-27 13:45:52-04

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrested a man in connection with an early summer homicide in Safety Harbor. 

Detectives from the Robbery/Homicide Unit believe 40-year-old Michael Robert-Jose Harbaugh killed 61-year-old David Sommer due to an unpaid debt for yard work. 

On June 19, 2017, deputies say they responded to a call for a deceased person and discovered Sommer was the victim of "homicidal violence." 

An investigation by the unit led to Harbaugh. On June 18, 2017, Harbaugh allegedly told neighbors Sommer owed him for yard work completed earlier in the day and reportedly went to collect the money. 

According to the report, Harbaugh was captured on surveillance video entering and exiting Sommer's dwelling. They found no additional persons entering or exiting the residence until they found the victim dead inside his home. 

Detectives say Harbaugh made inconsistent statements when he was investigated. On October 27, 2017, Harbaugh was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree felony murder. 

Harbaugh had already been in custody for violating his probation from a felony battery conviction in 2015. 

The investigation is still ongoing.