JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 22-year-old Jacksonville man suspected in the February shooting death of his mother has been transferred to Duval County where he’s been formally charged with her murder.
Michael Joseph McPherson was booked Saturday morning into the Duval County jail on a felony charge of second-degree murder in the killing of his mother, Stacey McPherson-Dillon, jail records show.
McPherson, who had been in custody on unrelated charges in Monroe County, is being held without bond while he awaits trial in the case.
The victim, a 45-year-old nurse for Wolfson Children’s Hospital, was found suffering from a gunshot wound Feb. 5 by officers answering a call about a shooting at a home on San Servera Drive South, according to police.
First responders tried to save McPherson-Dillion, but she died of her injuries at the scene.
“They were great people. I hated to see him leave. I really did. They were nice and quiet good folks,” neighbor Van Jones said of McPherson-Dillion and McPherson-Dillion’s husband.
Jones recalled what his wife told him about the shooting in February.
“She said, ‘I was in my office and I heard like five shots. It sounded like gunshots.’ And she said, ‘The next thing I know is that the neighborhood is taped off and there’s a ton of JSO here in the neighborhood,‘” he said.
Police later issued a be-on-the-lookout notice for McPherson, who was taken into custody in Key Largo a day after his mother’s death. Investigators said a gun was found inside the sport-utility vehicle he was driving.
McPherson, who was declared indigent over the weekend, will be appointed a public defender.
Jones said he has been waiting for McPherson to be formally charged.
“That surprised me because I would’ve thought that would’ve been an immediate charge, knowing that that happened at the time that it did. And now that it’s five months later, for him to be charged with that, kind of floors me. What’s going on with our justice system?” Jones said.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said investigators were likely trying to build the case to ensure prosecution, so that could be why it took a while for McPherson to be charged in McPherson-Dillion’s death.
McPherson-Dillion’s former patient, who is facing COVID-19. sent News4Jax a statement, saying, “She was actually my nurse. This hit me so hard and was so painful to hear. She was indeed an attentive and kind nurse. I’m so glad he has been arrested.”