A construction worker stabbed to death his Trump-supporting employer with a trowel during an argument over politics before leaving an American flag near his body, police said.
Mason Toney was arrested late on Monday following a police manhunt and charged with the alleged murder of William Knight at a building site near Orlando, Florida.
The two men, both aged 28 and friends since childhood, had reportedly argued about their opposing political views as they travelled to work together that morning. Mr Toney is accused of attacking his boss soon after they arrived at the site on Florida’s Turnpike toll road.
Court papers seen by US media described Mr Toney as “anti-government“ and “very outspoken about his belief that the government is bad and out to get him”.
Knight was said to be a “proud and outspoken American and pro Donald Trump“, detective Fabian Ramirez added in the document.
According to court papers seen by local TV news channel WKMG, witnesses told officers they heard Knight shouting for help as he was stabbed repeatedly with a trowel. Bystanders allegedly attempted to intervene and threw things at Mr Tony, who climbed into a truck and drove away.
Police were called to the building site at 10.45am by another worker, who rang 911 and reported that Mr Toney had stabbed and killed his boss.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Knight was found dead next to an excavator with a new American flag draped the side of his body. The flag’s packaging was also nearby.
Mr Toney was arrested after crashing the truck during a brief police chase. He was charged with first-degree murder and is being held in custody.
Knight’s family said he had helped his alleged killer find work just two weeks before his death.
“My son goes, ‘Mason needs help’, so he got him a job,” his mother Julia Knight told WFTV9 news channel. “He would get up early in the morning and he would pick up his friend.
“We were expecting him to come home tonight in the truck. He never came home.”