Man Sentenced to 80-Years Behind Bars for Murder and Several Bank Robberies
REGIONAL – The wait for justice is finally over for the family of a Citrus County coin dealer, after the man responsible for killing 69-year-old Billy Shuler will spend 40-years behind bars for Shuler’s murder.
A Pasco County Jury found 54-year-old Anthony Maresca guilty of murder and other unrelated charges on May 19th.
The case began on May 21st, 2014 when Billy’s wife called the Sheriff’s Office to report her husband missing. Officials say Shuler left his home in Homosassa to meet with a potential coin buyer in Holiday, Florida. The following day Investigators pinged Shuler’s cellphone and eventually located his vehicle in Pasco County. Blood evidence and a spent casing discovered inside the vehicle crushed all hopes of finding Shuler alive, say officials. Detectives backtracked Shuler’s travels through his GPS system and eventually located Shuler’s body.
Investigators were able to positively identify Maresca as their suspect through fingerprints discovered in Shuler’s blood.
Fearing law enforcement was looking for him, officials say Maresca fled his home and went on a crime spree committing several bank robberies. In June of 2015 Maresca was arrested and charged in Shuler’s murder. Maresca will spend the next 80-years behind bars in back-to-back 40-year prison sentences.
Sergeant Cregg Dalton with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office says “All the cases I have worked are important to me but there are a few that affect me on a personal level more than others; this was one of those cases and I am happy that the Shuler family now has a small sense of closure.”
Officials say Dan Shuler, one of the victim’s sons, and other family members traveled to Florida to attend the convicted murderer’s sentencing. Dan delivered the victim impact statement in court during which he focused on the positive impact his father had on everyone he met. “This sentence brings some form of peace to our family because now we know this animal cannot hurt other families like he did ours,” Dan said. He added that even though it has been three years since his father’s murder he still has a gaping hole in his heart.Citrus County Officials shared Mrs. Shuler’s comments after the conviction, stating, “The bullet went through his head and straight into my heart as he was everything to me.” The couple had been married for 51 years prior to his murder.
As a result of Shuler’s murder, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office will soon be unveiling a new initiative to create “safe sale zones” where people can meet to make custody exchanges or conduct other business safely. These locations will be identified and monitored by video surveillance, say officials.
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