Florida father accused of killing teen son with angle grinder: 'Inexplicable'

21:59 06.09.2023

In a shocking and heartbreaking incident, Stephan Thomas Rodda, a 37-year-old man from Florida, has been accused of murdering his 16-year-old son, Stephen Lee Rodda, with a heavy-duty power saw. The incident took place inside a mobile home in Polk County on Monday. Rodda was taken into custody after attempting to flee the scene.

During his brief hearing with a judge, Rodda made preposterous claims, including falsely stating that he owned the NFL. In a video posted by FOX 13 in Tampa, Rodda can be seen telling the judge that he has a pardon in Montana and providing a false name, Michael Olnek. The judge appointed the public defender's office to represent Rodda, who once again interrupted, claiming ownership of the NFL.

The judge reviewed the probable cause affidavit and determined that there was sufficient evidence to hold Rodda on the capital felony charge without bond. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd held a press conference at the mobile home to announce Rodda's arrest and described him as "evil." Judd expressed his deep sorrow for the tragic event, stating that words couldn't adequately explain its horror.

Stephen Lee Rodda, an 11th grader at Frostproof High School, had been living with his 67-year-old grandfather, Thomas Rodda, at the mobile home while his grandmother was in rehab. Thomas left the home on Monday morning to visit his wife and upon returning at around 11 a.m., he encountered the accused killer. Stephen allegedly warned his grandfather not to enter the home, saying, "I killed someone. You may need to call the police."

According to Sheriff Judd, it was not uncommon for Rodda to make bizarre comments. However, when Thomas entered the mobile home, he discovered his grandson's lifeless body in the dining room area. Preliminary investigations suggest that Rodda used an angle grinder, a type of power tool used for cutting, grinding, and polishing objects, to kill his son. The motive behind the murder is currently under investigation.

Rodda, who has an extensive criminal history and a past of drug abuse, recently moved to Lake Wales from various states, including Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Sheriff Judd revealed that Rodda had a history of methamphetamine use, dating back to high school, and had experienced prior psychotic episodes.

The tragedy has left the community in shock, mourning the loss of a promising young man. Stephen was described as a stand-up and stellar individual who had dreams of becoming an electrician. He had been attending classes at Frostproof High School to pursue his dreams and was set to start working at Burger King next week to save money for a car.

Sheriff Judd expressed his condolences to the family, emphasizing that Stephen's death was an inexplicable and devastating event. He assured the community that the suspect would be held accountable and vowed to ensure that he spends the rest of his life in prison. The investigation into the murder continues as authorities attempt to uncover the motive behind this senseless act of violence.

/ Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 9:59 PM /

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