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Cape man accused in death of local club owner; Police: Burglarized victim’s home

By Staff | Oct 2, 2008

A Fort Myers man was found dead in his home with multiple blunt force traumas to his head. His residence was burglarized.

Police believe they have the man responsible behind bars: Stephen Scott Colletti, 32, of 4217 S.E. Eighth Place, was arrested Wednesday in Palm Beach County for the second-degree manslaughter of Roger Whiting Patch, owner of the downtown Fort Myers club Level.

Colletti is currently in the Palm Beach County Jail on a warrant from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the warrant, Colletti is accused of killing Patch by striking him in the head with blunt force during the commission of a burglary of his home, at 7034 Overlook Drive, early Monday.

Police said Colletti took a cell phone, a DVD player, a handgun and a wall safe, armed himself with a handgun and battered Patch.

Colletti was reportedly in Patch’s home through Sunday night, along with friends Brian Stout and John Stephens, and two others whose names were redacted from police documents.

It is unclear at what point in the evening police believe Colletti struck and killed Patch.

Stout reportedly told police he spoke with Patch at about 3:05 a.m. Monday on the telephone and that Patch seemed to be OK. When Stout arrived back at the residence at about 4:30 a.m., he discovered Patch dead in the second floor master bedroom.

Stephens had left the home at about 12:30 a.m. Monday, he told police.

Colletti had spoken with his father about the incident, saying he and Patch were in a dispute at Patch’s house, the father reportedly told detectives.

Colletti was charged in 2002 with the armed robbery of a Fort Myers car wash, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office report. He reportedly robbed the cashier of the Eager Beaver Car Wash at gunpoint and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Colletti’s arrest warrant states there is probable cause that Colletti is guilty of the first-degree felony murder of Patch, though he is currently charged only with manslaughter.

He was held without bond Wednesday night.