Arrest made in Stock Island murder where a tree-house robbery took place


A Stock Island man was arrested Wednesday after police said he stabbed a man to death during a robbery that was over a crack cocaine deal Friday and also cut a woman’s throat during the crime.

The victim, Mathew Bonnett, 59, was at the home inside a Laurel Avenue trailer park only to help a neighbor who was being robbed by two masked men, Sheriff Rick Ramsay said. “He was trying to help and be a good citizen,” Ramsay said.

Rory Hank Wilson, 49, is charged with murder, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of committing a second-degree felony while wearing a mask.

The robbery took place in a trailer park on Laurel but not at a legal residence, the sheriff said.

“Three people were living in a tree house, a male and two females,” Ramsay said. “Yes, it was a tree house.”

Paula Belmonte, 53, was able to identify one of the two suspects as Wilson, a local man she knows as Detroit. She told detectives she recognized his voice and the way he walks despite the fact he was wearing a mask to hide his face during the crime, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin.

“She said she has spoken to him numerous times and she was able to pick his photo out of a photo lineup,” Herrin said.

Belmonte told investigators she was in bed Friday just after 8 p.m. when the two suspects walked into her home at 5650 Laurel Ave. A male friend of hers was there with her and Wilson and the other suspect held them at knife point, police said. Wilson then allegedly cut her throat with a knife.

The two suspects left and got into an altercation on the stairs with Bonnett, who was stabbed multiple times. He later died of his injuries. Detectives said the incident was related to an earlier drug deal Belmonte was involved in.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen