MIAMI — A southwest Florida man put his dead neighbor in the bed of his pickup truck and drove — bloody and agitated — to his lawyer's office, where he said he had killed the man in self-defense.
John Marshall, 52, showed up Wednesday afternoon, his attorney, Robert Harris, said. "He was clearly undergoing something," Harris said, noting that he was bleeding and flustered.
Harris said he brought Marshall into the office, and that's when he said the man's body was in the truck parked outside. Harris called 911.
"It appears to be a clear cut case of self-defense," Harris told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Lee County Sheriff's spokesman Tony Schall said the agency is investigating. He would not say whether any charges are pending or give other details. He said only that an investigation is underway.
Officials identified the dead man as Theodore Hubbell Jr., 65.
Marshall lives in Cape Coral, near Fort Myers, and had purchased property off a dirt road in a rural neighborhood called Bokeelia, Harris said.
Marshall and his wife planned to build a house and had built a shed on the property, and they kept a camper there, Harris said. The neighbor didn't want Marshall to build in the rural area, Harris said.
A few days before the incident, Marshall and the neighbor argued, Harris said. Marshall called Harris, who advised his client to get a restraining order.
Harris said Marshall called police and reported the incident, but a restraining order had not been issued. The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to inquiries about a report from Marshall.
On Wednesday, Harris said Marshall and Hubbell got into another argument. This time, Harris said, the neighbor had a gun, which he fired toward Marshall. He missed, Harris said, and Marshall tried to wrestle the gun away. Marshall told his attorney the neighbor then hit him in the jaw with the gun.
Harris said his client's injuries were consistent with that story: scrapes and bruises, a swollen lip, one knocked-out and one chipped tooth.
The attorney said he "took the unprecedented step" of letting Marshall talk to deputies. Marshall also submitted DNA samples and fingerprints.
Marshall spent hours at his attorney's office as deputies investigated, Harris said. Around 10:30 p.m., Harris said, he drove Marshall to a hospital. He had not yet checked up on him Thursday morning, but said he planned on talking to him later in the day.
Harris said he represents Marshall on an unrelated case involving a weapon, and that's why Marshall drove to his office.
Having a client bring a body to his office was a first.
"I've never heard of this happening before," Harris said.