OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:15 PM – Tuesday, September 5, 2023
A Florida father has been taken into custody after he was accused of killing his 16-year-old son with a power tool.
On Monday, 37-year-old Stephen Thomas Rodda was arrested after allegedly committing the murder of his son inside a mobile home in Lake Wales, Florida, by Polk County officers.
The teen was living with his grandfather, 67-year-old Thomas Rodda, to assist him around the house while his grandma was in rehab. When the grandfather returned home Monday morning, he found Stephen outside who allegedly warned him to not go inside the home because he had killed someone in there.
“I wouldn’t go in there if I was you. I killed someone. You may need to call the police,” Stephen allegedly said.
According to the victim’s grandfather, the alleged suspect, who had been using methamphetamines since high school, has a history of having psychotic episodes and making “bizarre” comments.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd stated that when Thomas entered the home, he found his grandson dead in the dining room. According to Judd, a preliminary investigation found that the suspect killed his son with a “heavy-duty saw” known as an angle grinder.
“It breaks our heart. There aren’t adequate words to explain how horrific this event is,” Judd said. “To have this worthless individual murder his son is inexplicable.”
Police reportedly apprehended Stephen as he fled on Highway 60 and he was later placed under arrest.
According to Judd, the Florida father has a lengthy criminal past, including an outstanding warrant in South Carolina.
“This guy has been nothing but a problem to society for a very long time,” Judd said. “And now, he’s turned a problemed person into an evil person when he murdered his son and created a horrible set of circumstances for a loving family.”
Judd also stated that the motive for the murder is still under investigation.
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