MULBERRY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 15-year-old Mulberry boy is accused of shooting and killing his mother’s boyfriend.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said on Wednesday that detectives are trying to figure out if the boy shot in self-defense, or if he murdered the man.
Deputies responded to a report of a shooting at 12:50 a.m. Wednesday at a home on Gibson Street in Mulberry. Deputies found Paul Gregg Jr., age 37, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
Deputies met with Jessica Whidden and her 15-year-old son in a church parking lot near the home. Jessica and her son told deputies that Gregg had been drinking earlier in the day and was being argumentative. The Whiddens said they left the home to get dinner together and returned later.
They said that after they returned, Gregg began yelling at Jessica to kill herself and that she was worthless. They told deputies that Gregg was armed with a knife.
The Whiddens told deputies that at some point, the teen became armed with a shotgun.
Deputies found Gregg deceased in his bedroom near the master bedroom closet. It is believed that he was shot in the master bedroom. Multiple firearms were found in a nearby closet.
Family members told deputies that both Jessica and Gregg are heavy drinkers and often argue. They have been together for about five years.
Sheriff Judd said that deputies were interviewing Jessica Whidden and her son on Wednesday. He said that the case is complicated because Jessica Whidden had another boyfriend that Gregg had found out about and he was angry.
“It’s just a red-hot mess and we’re sorting it out,” said Judd.
Detectives say Jessica Whidden has a previous arrest for driving with a suspended or revoked license and Paul Gregg has a previous arrest for battery and DUI. Her son has no previous arrest history.