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Former Effort woman is murdered in Florida

Published January 08. 2013 05:02PM

A former Effort woman, allegedly beaten to death in Florida by a live-in handyman, was found by her 17 year old son, Timothy.

Kelly Mercedes Bennett, 35, who had previously resided on Briarwood Drive in Effort, was found dead in her home at about 1 a.m. Saturday.

Bennett resided in Port Richey, Fla., just north of St. Petersburg and northwest of Tampa along the west coast of the state.

Charged in the killing was Steven Robert Clairmont Jr., 40, who had lived in her house for about three weeks.

Clairmont Jr. was arrested Saturday morning on a charge of first-degree murder and committed to prison without bail.

The son had told a neighbor that his mother's throat had been cut.

In an unusual twist, just minutes before the teen found Bennett's body a driver called 9-1-1 after seeing Clairmont walking about a mile away from the crime scene. The caller said Clairmont was covered from head to toe with blood.

According to the suspect's arrest report he confessed to killing Bennett.

"Mr. Clairmont did confess in the interview," said Melanie Snow, Public Information Officer with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. "He did say he'd committed this crime."

Clairmont Jr. has been charged with first-degree murder.

Clairmont was carrying the victim's iPhone when he was arrested and detectives say, he later confessed to the murder.

Bennett's funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Port Richey.

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