Man kills friend of 30 years after argument in Lakeland's first homicide of 2017

Posted at 12:24 PM, May 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 12:24:40-04

A Lakeland man stabbed and killed his friend of 30 years after an argument in the city's first homicide of 2017.

At about 9:10 p.m. on Thursday, Jesse Banks Jr. was arguing with Tommy Lee Engram in the area of 418 W. 7th St.

The two had reportedly been friends for about 30 years. Authorities say Banks called Engram a series of insulting slurs and names, and Engram attempted to fight back. But Banks was armed with a knife, and without warning, police say he stabbed Engram in the neck.

Banks admitted to the stabbing and was charged with 2nd degree murder and was transproted to Polk County Jail. He had a prior criminal history of 13 felony and 8 misdemeanor arrests.