Man Charged With Bell Woman's Death Has A Criminal Past
Published August 5th, 2013
BELL, Fla. -- More details are coming to light about the criminal past of the man charged with murdering a Gilchrist county woman.
The memories of the death of Bell resident Joyce Burrow are still fresh in a small community of familiar faces... including the face of the man now accused of killing her.
Mary - who doesn't want to reveal her full name for fear of the accused killer - lives just down the road from Burrow and says she recognized 53-year-old Michael Darnell Porter as someone she had seen before.
Now she is wondering if a noise she heard two weeks ago might have been him.
" it was like somebody thought they might try an unlocked door to see if they could get in and they couldn't so they moved on," she said.
Porter was arrested late Saturday night and charged with home invasion and homicide.
Detectives say while they're confident they have the right man... many of the details surround this case are still coming together.
Porter is no stranger to the law.
An investigation into his criminal record revealed he was convicted in 1988 of numerous charges including aggravated battery, and sexual battery in Pasco county and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
However in 2002 the conviction was overturned and Porter was set free when a court of appeals found his due process rights were violated when several police reports were not given to him during the trial.
More recently in Levy county, Porter was convicted of battery and violation of parole.
We found more than half a dozen addresses associated with Porter, including one less than a mile from Burrow's home.
Investigators have not yet been able to confirm where exactly he was living.
Members of Burrow's family - who have chosen to remain in the background during the investigation - told me they're thankful an arrest has been made, and hope justice will be served.
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