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Stuart PD: 17-Year-Old Teen Accused of Murdering a 39-Year-Old Neighbor Over a "Minor Verbal Dispute"

Stuart - Wednesday April 3, 2024: Stuart police have arrested 17-Year-Old Ro'Thonio Wilson on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Jason Hibbert.

A news release from the Stuart Police Department (SPD) states that "Wilson’s actions stemmed from a minor verbal dispute."

Late Monday morning, April 1st, Hibbert was found on the ground outside 806 South-East Spruce Avenue "with at least one gunshot wound," according to a news release from the Stuart Police Department.

Officers performed CPR on the victim until Stuart Fire Rescue arrived and took over. Hibbert was then air-lifted to HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital in Fort Pierce, in critical condition. He was pronounced dead at 12:46 p.m. Monday.

Stuart police officers and detectives conducted several interviews. They got a description of the suspect and learned that he ran south on Spruce Avenue after the shooting.

Stuart police and Martin County Sheriff (MCSO) deputies, along with a MCSO K-9 unit, established a perimeter around the neighborhood and began their search, along with the Martin County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit which provided support overhead.

Just down the road from the murder scene, the MCSO K-9 unit led the officers to 937 South-East Spruce Avenue. When Wilson stepped out from that residence, he was arrested.

After Wilson was taken into custody, Stuart police detectives obtained a court-ordered search warrant for 937 SE Spruce Avenue where, the Stuart PD news release says "they located evidence linking the suspect to the crime."

Wilson was booked at the Martin County Jail, and then transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Pierce.

As a precaution, while the suspect was still at large, Stuart Police Chief Joseph Tumminelli ordered a lock-down at three nearby public schools. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office also locked down the courthouse for a short period of time.