Two men preaching religion shot to death in Boynton Beach

Feb 6th, 2010 | By | Category: Signs of the Times (click on article name)

Two men preaching religion shot to death in Boynton Beach

By Eliot Kleinberg Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Updated: 12:29 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010

Posted: 2:10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010

Jeriah Woody

Jeriah Woody executed two men who made the mistake of preaching religion to the 18-year-old, a witness has told police.

Woody, who turned himself in to Boynton Beach police Wednesday, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Saturday night deaths of Stephen Ocean, 23, and Tite Sufra, 24, near the Boynton Beach city library.

He was expected to be taken to the Palm Beach County Jail later today and have a bond hearing Thursday. Boynton Beach spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said this afternoon he was still being questioned and she would not immediately provide information about a motive.

A woman who identified herself as Ocean’s sister, but did not want to give her name, said the two men, best friends, were ministers who were ordained last year and had turned their lives around after run-ins with law enforcement. She did not want to identify the church with which they were aligned.

“They go around and minister to boys and say where they came from,” the sister said. “They did that all day and all night.”

Jail records show no adult arrests for Sufra. Ocean was arrested in 2003 on robbery charges and in 2004 for violating probation on previous battery and petit theft convictions. He was arrested in 2006 for carrying a concealed firearm and resisting an officer.

Jail records show no adult arrests for Woody.

Stephen Ocean, 23, and Tite Sufra, 24,

According to a Boynton Beach police report, a person who was with the two slain men told police that, about 8 p.m Saturday, the three were walking through the neighborhood, preaching, and encountered Woody under a tree.

They had been preaching to him for about 15 minutes when he received a call on his cellphone.

The three heard him tell the person on the phone that he was “right down the street.”

He then told the three preachers he had to go.

As the three began walking east, they noticed Woody running toward them.

The friend said he saw Sufra walk toward Woody; he then saw a flash and saw Sufra fall.

Ocean began running and was dropped by a shot to the buttocks, the witness said.

He said Woody then walked up to Ocean and shot him in the head execution-style.

The third man was able to flee and call police, the report said.

Officers found the two lying in the 100 block of Southwest Second Avenue.

On Tuesday, a source alerted detectives to a man with the street name of “plug” who matched the description of the shooter.

The man who’d been preaching with the two other men picked Woody out of a lineup, the report said.

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