Judge: no bond for attacker, $250K bail for accomplice - WNCT

Judge: no bond for attacker, $250K bail for accomplice in connection with Citrus Park shooting

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Two men arrested in connection with Sunday's triple shooting in Citrus Park, appeared in front of a Hillsborough County judge Tuesday morning. According to police reports, Jason Mark Burnett, 37, and Gary Honish, 47, targeted the three female victims because they thought they had drugs and cash in their home.

Judge Walter Heinrich warned Burnett about a possibility of a death sentence in his case. No bond was set for him. The judge allowed Honish to be released on $250,000 bail.

Honish previously brought narcotics from the house all three women shared on Manhattan Drive, according to Hillsborough Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter. 

"Honish took Burnett to the residence, dropped him off, went and parked the vehicle," said Carter.

When Burnett came back, he told Honish he had robbed the women, according to deputies.  At about 11:12 AM Sunday, a person walked into the nearby Citrus Park HCSO substation on Gunn Highway and reported the shooting. 

"Inside the house, they found two subjects and another subject further down the road," explained HCSO Col. Donna Luscznski.

Deputies found Fern Giddings, 56, dead inside the house. Nell Mason, 52, was also found shot inside.  Paramedics rushed her to the hospital, where she later died.  The third woman, Mason's 35-year-old daughter, Christina Soto, managed to escape from the home after she was shot. 

"I didn't know she'd been shot, I thought she'd fallen off her bicycle," explained Marcia Pembleton, who was on the nearby Upper Tampa Bay Trail when she spotted Soto.

Soto is now stable at St. Joseph's Hospital.  Monday would have been Mason's 53rd birthday.

"It's heartbreaking to say the least," said neighbor Michael McVay.

Burnett is now charged with two counts first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, home invasion robbery, and aggravated assault with the intent to commit a felony. Authorities charged Honish with accessory after the fact.  Carter says the investigation is ongoing and more charges are pending.

Burnett has a lengthy criminal history, according to Hillsborough County Jail records.  His previous charges include resisting arrest with violence, home invasion, animal cruelty, assault on a law enforcement officer, grand theft, and burglary.

The Pasco County sheriff's office says less than two hours before the shooting, Burnett broke into two homes and pistol whipped the occupants to rob them.

Danielle Prince says she woke up to find a man with a gun in her home, beating her boyfriend.

Prince says, " He only managed to get 200 dollars and then he, somehow or another we convinced him to leave and just told him, you really don't want to take parents away from their child and I don't know how he saw heart for us, but not them."

Prince says she is well aware of the murders that happened after her home was robbed, "We are beyond grateful for our lives today."

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