Ex-con suspected of killing DeLand restaurant owner in March found dead in mobile home, along with girlfriend, after standoff in Hillsborough County

J. SeagravesKayla NemotoJames Seagrave and his apparent girlfriend, Kelly Nemoto were found dead inside a mobile home Thursday afternoon after a lengthy standoff with a Hillsborough SWAT team. Seagrave was the prime suspect in the March 31 fatal shooting of Tom Walsh, the manager of the Mainstreet Grill restaurant during a botched robbery.

DELAND -- The man believed responsible for murdering the manager of the Mainstreet Grill on New York Avenue in March was found dead in a mobile home today in Hillsborough County after a standoff with a SWAT team, authorities said.

James Seagraves, a convicted felon, shot and killed the manager, Tom Walsh, during a bothed robbery on March 31. The 29-year-old suspect had just been released from prison March 2, after serving a two-year term for an armed robbery in Marion County.

The standoff ended just after 6 p.m. in Gibsonton, a rural unincorporated community in Hillsborough County. The SWAT team entered the mobile home where Seagraves had barricaded himself after tear gas cleared and found his body and that of a woman presumed to be his girlfriend, Kayla Nemoto, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Detective Larry McKinnon said. How they died has not yet been released.

The DeLand police and agents with the US Marshal's Service had tracked down Seagraves, considered the prime suspect in the fatal Mainstreet robbery, when he came out briefly at 12:30 p.m. before barricading himself inside.

McKinnon said that after four hous of intense negotiations to try and get Seagraves to surrender peacefully, there was no further communication from the suspect.

Two hours later after the SWAT team had lobbed flash grenades and tear gas and waited for nearly two hours before storming in and finding Seagraves and the unidentfied girlfriend dead inside. In the meantime, detectives got a signed search warrant from a Hillsborough County judge.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.