KISSIMMEE, Fla. (CBS/WKMG/AP) A homeless man charged with strangling and beating a man to death in what was the first homicide in the Disney-developed community of Celebration, Fla. will remain jailed without bail, a judge said Tuesday.
David-Israel Murillo, 28, was arrested Monday and has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 58-year-old Celebration resident Matteo P. Giovanditto whose body was found by a neighbor Nov. 29.
Investigators say Giovanditto was beaten and strangled to death inside his condominium sometime over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Murillo apparently knew Giovanditto and told police that they were drinking together when he thought Giovanditto was trying to sexually assault him and he then became angry and attacked Giovanditto with an axe he found in the closet, according to CBS affiliate WKMG.
"He tried to [sexually assault me]. And I believe he tried to put something in my drink," Murillo said. "I just don't know. Something came over me. I don't know what happened, you know, I just felt so mad that he did that."
Deputies said Murillo was identified early on as a person of interest because his photo was found on Giovanditto's computer and his fingerprints were found in his home, reports WKMG.
He was brought in for questioning Saturday after detectives found out he tried to sell coins Giovanditto had collected. Investigators also found Giovanditto's iPad and cash at a campsite where Murillo had been living, according to WKMG.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Murillo was convicted two years ago for carrying a concealed handgun and battery of a law officer. Detectives said he is cooperating with the investigation.
Murillo's next court date has not been scheduled.
Giovanditto, a former teacher and Massachusetts native, moved to Celebration from south Florida in 2004, according to the Sentinel. A neighbor told the paper that Giovanditto was working as a psychologist for challenged youths, but that information could not be confirmed.
Disney relinquished control of the quaint town of Celebration several years ago.