TAVARES - A Leesburg man who allegedly threatened to kill a man who was sleeping with his ex-girlfriend, and then came back four hours later and shot him, goes on trial Monday for first-degree premeditated murder and armed burglary.
If convicted of first-degree murder by the 12-member jury that will be picked, starting Monday, Jeremy Harrison will be sentenced to life without parole.
"Didn't I tell you if you weren't gone I'm gonna shoot you?" Jeremy Harrison reportedly asked Frederick D. Thomas on May 21, 2017, before shooting him in the chest.
Four hours earlier, at around 4:30 a.m., Jamie Rudolph, who is now 26, called police to say that Harrison had used a key to enter her home in the 900 block of Willow Drive. The couple, who dated for four years and had two children together, had broken up the month before and he moved out.
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Rudolph said she tried to get the key from him, but he was "playing mind games," at one point, asking her for $450.
Harrison, now 30, told her that Thomas "needs to get the (expletive) outta here," that he had a "chopper" or automatic rifle, and that he was gong to "shoot up the place."
Rudolph asked if he was going to shoot her. He said no, but added, "somebody's (expletive) gonna die today," and then repeated the threat.
Thomas was not the only one threatened by Harrison, according to the grand jury indictment.
Rudolph's friend and roommate Shawnterra Smith was also threatened.
Rudolph's daughter, who was an 18-year-old high school student at the time, was also in the home that night, along with a man who was sleeping on a couch in the living room. Smith told Harrison to leave.
"Jamie stated she was scared that Jeremy was going to kill her because he is not acting like his normal self," a Leesburg police officer noted in his report.
Police immediately started looking for Harrison.
A little after 9 a.m., Harrison came back, jumped on the couple's bed and began fighting with Thomas.
Rudolph said she jumped out of bed and was trying to pull Harrison off when she heard a single gunshot.
"Help me! I'm shot," Thomas said.
Rudolph ran to Smith's room and Harrison fled in a white Hyundai.
Thomas, whose nickname was "Stank," was unconscious when police arrived. He was declared dead by a doctor at UF Health.
Rudolph told police that Thomas, 26, was not her boyfriend. The two had recently met at a party in Ocala. Thomas lived in Marion County.
"Jamie … stated Jeremy drives by her residence on a daily basis and harasses her on social media and on the cell phone…," a police report stated.
She said she blocked him on her accounts and on the phone.
Rudolph was talking on her cell phone to Harrison when police arrived. "You don't live here anymore," she said, and "now, you're going to jail… because you shot him."
Harrison turned himself in at the Lake County jail five days after the shooting. He did not make a statement to police.
This article originally appeared on Daily Commercial: Jeremy Harrison's murder trial begins Monday; he's facing life in prison