Man charged with killing teen 25 years ago due in court

Defense attorneys seek to throw out all evidence in 1994 murder case

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

Ronnie Hyde, the Jacksonville Beach man charged with killing and dismembering a 16-year-old boy decades ago, is expected to be in court on Monday.

Hyde, a one-time youth pastor, was arrested two years ago and accused of killing Fred Laster in 1994 and dumping his body off Interstate 10 in Columbia County.

Hyde’s defense attorneys are seeking to throw out all evidence in his case. That includes statements to the FBI. In addition, the defense is asking the judge to throw out all the evidence that officers found at Hyde's house and inside his car, saying it was seized without probable cause.

The defense said that hours into FBI questioning of Hyde in March 2017 he asked for a lawyer when he was asked about some incriminating evidence involving the murder of Laster. The issue for the defense is statements made to the FBI while Hyde was waiting on an attorney.

According to a transcript, as the men sat, Hyde questioned the agent, saying, "The entire family, I guess, knows that he's, his body has been found, he's dead?"

Hyde said that was "shocking" for him to hear.

Hyde then repeated things he'd said earlier about Laster having been seen at his house and in his car.

Hyde then noted: "That's why I say it looks kind of bad. That's why I would, I would need to consult with an attorney."

In a hearing late last year, Hyde’s lawyer also brought up questions about DNA found on Laster’s remains in Lake City.

There was unidentified DNA found on Laster’s remains that to this point still are unidentified.  This is leading Hyde’s attorneys to question whether Hyde did, in fact, abduct Laster.

At that same hearing, prosecutors questioned other past alleged victims of Hyde. They are grown now, but at the time, they were teenage boys who testified Hyde developed a sexual relationship with them at his Jacksonville Beach home.

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.