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Manatee County Sheriff'         s Office deputies seek information on the whereabouts of Alan Baily, 17.
East County Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 5 years ago

Murder in Lakewood Ranch not considered a random killing

Second suspect in Greenbrook Park killing still at large.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

While Manatee County Sheriff's Office detectives continue to search for a second suspect in the Feb. 4 Greenbrook Park murder of 23-year-old Alexander Cherp, they believe the shooting was not random. 

Dave Bristow, a Sheriff's Office spokesperson, said on Monday detectives do not know why a suspected robbery attempt turned into a homicide, but they are investigating the incident as a possible “drug deal gone bad.”

“This was not a random incident,” Bristow said. “This person was a target. Just to put people’s minds at ease — do we have an individual out there that’s wanted for homicide? Sure we do. People should always be cognizant of what’s going on. But do we have a person committing random homicides? No.”

Detectives continue to search for Lakewood Ranch's Alan Bailey, 17, who lives less than a half-mile from the site where Cherp was killed. The Sheriff's Office believes Bailey is still in the area.

“There’s a reward of up to $8,000 for information leading us to (Baily),” Bristow said.

Co-defendant Jose Hernandez, 19, was arrested Feb. 18 on charges of robbery and murder.

Detectives believe Cherp was shot sometime between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. He was found outside his vehicle shortly after midnight Feb. 5 by an off-duty security guard at Greenbrook Park, in the 6600 block of Greenbrook Boulevard.

He was transported to the hospital, where he later died.

Bristow said witness testimony implicating both Bailey and Hernandez gave the Sheriff’s Office the probable cause it needed to make arrests in the case. 

Multiple latent prints were found in the victim’s vehicle and detectives also found a .40-caliber shell casing in the front rear passenger side. Fingerprints both of Hernandez and Baily were found in the vehicle. 

Images on a cell phone seized during the robbery investigation, showed a .40 caliber semi-automatic firearm — the same as what was used to shoot Cherp. Based on the victim’s injuries, it is believed the shooter was sitting in the back seat behind the passenger when the shots were fired. 

Cell phone data shows Baily was near Greenbrook Park at the time of the robbery. Cell phone data also reveals phone calls between Baily and Hernandez the night of the murder.

Statements by Baily to law enforcement, prior to having a warrant for his arrest, said that Hernandez planned to rob Cherp and that Hernandez had shot Cherp in the head and yelled for Baily to “finish him off.” Baily stated “I just did it. I just did it.”

A witness said Baily was having a mental breakdown about being involved in a murder.

Baily had been arrested in late December for a Dec. 7 drug-related robbery in the 14400 block of State Road 70, Bristow said.

Anyone with information on Baily’s whereabouts should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS. 

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