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Lake Wales Man Charged With Stabbing Homicide Of 16 Yr Old At Winter Haven Publix

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Winter Haven Detectives have made an arrest in the stabbing death of a 16-year-old at Publix on November 9, 2023.

Because of the extensive investigation by detectives into the November 2023 stabbing at Publix (1395 6th St NW) and working in partnership with the State Attorney’s Office, an arrest warrant for 19-year-old Teville Xavier Burgess (DOB 8-7-04), was obtained charging him with Manslaughter (F1).

On January 4, 2024 at approximately 4:45 p.m., Winter Haven Detectives located Burgess in the area of Second Ave. in Waverly. Assisted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Burgess was taken into custody after a brief foot chase.

Burgess had initially told detectives that he was jumped by unknown subjects inside of the business resulting in the stabbing. However, evidence from the scene including witness statements and video footage tell a story conflicting with Burgess’s statements.
“The non-stop commitment of our detectives to find closure for the victim’s family shows how dedicated they are to finding the truth,” said Police Chief David Brannan. “We can’t always take cases at face value because there can be elements that are overlooked. As in this case, the truth was in the many details that were uncovered.”

An excerpt from the affidavit is below: (Names other that the defendant are redacted as per F.S.S. 119.071(2)(c)1: (c)1.Active criminal intelligence information and active criminal investigative information are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.)
“Burgess stated that words were exchanged in the parking lot of Publix with “unknown subjects.” Burgess stated that he went to Publix to obtain a phone charger and in doing so asked several people to use their phone; however, never asked for help or for anyone to call 911. Burgess then purchased a can of soup, that can be easily opened without a knife due to having a pop top. Burgess then picked up a frying pan, momentarily walks through Publix with the frying pan before selecting a paring knife with a 3.5-inch blade. Burgess then began to purchase the paring knife and before the purchase was completed, took the paring knife out of its packaging and armed himself by placing it in his front right pants pocket, which made it readily accessible, as he watched the “unknown subjects” approach the front doors of Publix. Burgess stated that the “unknown subjects” approached non-aggressively and said: “yo.” Burgess started the fight by picking up the soup can and swinging it at (redacted) face. After a physical altercation ensued, Burgess stated that he heard someone say: “he’s got a knife” and everyone began to disperse. Burgess stated that he began to run down the aisle as (redacted) was running in front of him, who eventually fell to the ground. Burgess confirmed that he still had the knife in his hand and when he turned around he stabbed The Victim. Burgess then stated that he took the knife and hid it, but then after being convinced by Witness #1, found it and placed it back into his pocket until Officers asked for it.
Burgess armed himself and began the physical altercation by hitting (redacted) first with the soup can. Burgess stabbed (redacted) in the left chest during the physical altercation. Burgess chased (redacted) with a knife after the physical altercation ended and everyone dispersed. Burgess then fatally stabbed The Victim in the left chest, as The Victim was attempting to protect (redacted) from any serious injury or death. Burgess killed the Victim without legal justification and by doing so, Burgess is being charged with one count Manslaughter (Other Than Motor Vehicle) with Weapon F.S.S. 782.07(1).”

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