Good deed turns into nightmare; homeless friend killed - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Good deed turns into nightmare; homeless friend killed

By Allison Bybee - e-mail

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (WFLX) -  An act of good will turns sour after a family takes in a homeless man from the cold. Wednesday, they woke up to find him attacking an elderly grandmother. That's when police say the woman's grandson stabbed the man to death.

A chilly night, leading to an even colder morning. Neighbor Jim Dowland says, "I think it's pretty unusual for this neighborhood. I'll be honest with you."

Neighbor Jean Stauffer lives just two doors down, "I love this neighborhood. I'm just shocked."

Wednesday, it was the shock heard 'round the neighborhood. Port St. Lucie Police Public Information Officer, Tom Nichols, says, "I think this was just a good deed."

A good deed: Scott Smith giving a homeless friend a warm spot on a frigid night, at his grandmother's house. Sgt. Joe Golino says, "Trying to help a guy out and this is what happened." What happened turned that good will into a nightmare. Sgt.Golino says early Wednesday morning Smith heard his 87 year-old grandmother scream. He rushed to her bedroom finding the homeless man attacking her, "She's an 87 year-old woman she's not going to be able to do much damage to a guy of this size," says Sgt. Golino.

Augusta Smith hit him with a flashlight. He didn't stop. Her grandson grabbed a butcher knife and stabbed the man, killing him. Augusta Smith's Son-In-Law, Kenneth Cobb says, "That's tough. She's all right they told me. Everybody is okay. That's all I know."

Neighbors side with the family. Stauffer says, "If it had happened to me and my grandmother was being attacked and I had taken someone in trying to help them. Lord knows what I would have done too."

Right now, no charges have been filed against Smith. Seems like a case of self defense and a lesson to all, "It will make me think twice about letting someone into my home," says Stauffer.

The homeless man has been identified as 51 year-old Michael Sherman. His last known address was in Jensen Beach. Police do not know when he last lived there.

This case will be handed over to the State Attorney's Office. As for Augusta Smith, she suffered a few bruises on her arm.

Detectives say Scott Smith did not just meet the homeless man Tuesday night. He had known him for some time. He met him when the man was living under a bridge.

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