Sarasota murder suspect is ‘strong suspect’ in second case

William Devonshire
William Devonshire(SCSO)
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 11:56 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A man arrested in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found in Centennial Park Feb. 25 is also suspected in a March 10 homicide on Tamiami Trail, police say.

Sarasota Interim Police Chief Rex Troche said William Devonshire is a “strong suspect” in the March case.

On Feb. 25, police found the body of 48-year-old Kelliann Ripley of Sarasota in a wooded area in the 1100 block of Tamiami Trial.

The medical examiner found that Ripley died due to blunt force trauma and manual strangulation. DNA evidence collected at the scene is a match to a DNA sample collected from Devonshire after his arrest, Troche said in a news conference Monday morning.

Troche said Devonshire had been under surveillance. When he entered Pioneer Park on 12th Street Friday, he was arrested on charges of trespassing, possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

While not giving details, Troche said there was a “very strong correlation” between the Ripley case and the March 10 homicide in the 1900 block of Tamiami Trail. “Detectives believe the two homicides are connected because of facts and evidence found in both case,” he said.

Devonshire has a criminal history in several states, and was convicted of murder in Delaware in 2005.

Devonshire is “not being really cooperative” with investigators, Troche said.

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