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Police: Professor Had Given Ex-Convict $37K Before Death

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) —  Authorities said a former University of Florida professor found dead inside his burning home, was killed by an ex-convict who received $37,000 from the professor in recent years.

An autopsy on the professor, 75-year-old Thomas Oakland, found that he'd been fatally struck in the head and body and was likely already dead when fire consumed his Gainesville home on Wednesday.

Police opened a homicide investigation and began searching for a man whom the professor had been helping financially for the past few years.

Late Thursday, they arrested 37-year-old Stephen Underwood Jr. in Jacksonville.

Gainesville Police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias says Underwood knew Oakland kept cash in his home.

Underwood's wife told police her husband recently obtained a large bag of cash. The amount was not immediately clear.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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