homepage logo

Cape man arrested, charged in beating death of roommate; Police: Stolen items ignited fight

By Staff | Apr 8, 2008

A man has been charged in relation to the death of a Cape Coral man.

Michael Keith, 46, was charged with second-degree murder Monday evening in the death of Carl Masters.

The Cape Coral Police Department received a call at 2:05 p.m. to investigate the death of Masters, 53, at 1801 N.E. Second Terrace. The death was referred to as suspicious Monday afternoon, said Cape police spokesperson Dyan Lee.

Masters has been identified as the homeowner of the address where his body was found, Lee said.

Police said Keith admitted to various verbal and physical altercations with Masters between Sunday night and Monday morning, and to beating Masters with both his fists and a metal object in the head until he was unresponsive Monday.

Keith reportedly told police he got very upset when he found out that Masters stole hydrocodone pills, cash and cigarettes from him

Keith, claiming to have known Masters for 15 years, had been living with Masters at his home for several months, according to Lee.

Masters’ wife, Jessica, was separated from her husband and had not been staying at the home which they owned together, Lee said.

Jessica called the home at about noon on Monday, and Keith told her he had killed Masters, said police. Officers said Jessica then went to the home, where she found Masters’ body lying on the floor covered in blood and no longer breathing, and called 911.

Keith later told detectives that he killed Masters, said Lee. He was then taken to the Lee County Jail.

According to neighbor Angela Ball, she knew Masters and his wife, and was aware Masters had been allowing a male friend to stay at the residence.

The Lee County Clerk’s Office Web site indicates Carl and Jessica had been married since March 15, 2003.

“They’re good neighbors,” said Ball about Carl and Jessica, who she said she has known for the eight years the couple had lived next door. “They’re good people, I don’t know what happened.”

Ball, who has lived at 1805 N.E. Second Terrace for 16 years, said Masters and his wife were always good friends to her family.

“They were always quiet,” she said. “They were helpful to me, when my husband passed away they were right there for me.”

Ball called Masters a prankster, recalling less than a week prior when he pulled an April Fool’s prank that involved police tape and chalk outlines.

“This is no prank,” she said.

Ball mentioned that Masters was reportedly having some “problems,” but she did not wish to elaborate further.

Forensics investigators were on scene Monday evening after receiving a search warrant for the home.

Lee County Animal Services retrieved a dog from the home shortly before investigations began. It is not clear who currently has custody of the animal.