LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - A Florida pastor has been found dead in his home five months after he was shot at a central Florida church.
Polk County Sheriff's officials say a friend became worried last week after he hadn't heard from 65-year-old Rev. Carl Stewart. He found Stewart dead in his home on Thursday.
The medical examiner's office said Tuesday that an official cause of Stewart's death hasn't been determined and that the medical examiner is awaiting toxicology reports before issuing a final report.
Polk County Sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer said it will be up to prosecutors whether to file additional charges against 57-year-old Jeremiah Fogle, who is accused in the Sept. 2011 church shooting that left Stewart and another pastor wounded. Deputies also found Fogle's wife dead in their home during the Sept. 2011 incident.
"There are no further charges at this time against Jeremiah Fogle in regards to this case," wrote Eleazer in an email. "The State Attorney's Office will make the decision, if applicable, to charge Fogle additionally if the autopsy results show that Mr. Stewart died as a result of his gunshot wounds."
Fogle is being held in the Polk County Jail without bail. He is awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge as well as three counts of attempted first- degree murder and one count of shooting into an occupied building.
The 2011 church shooting left Stewart and the Rev. William Boss injured. Authorities say another minister disarmed Fogle.
Detectives said Fogle lived a block from the church and was Boss' former colleague.
Stewart was shot in the head, shoulder and back. According to The Ledger newspaper, his recovery was difficult.
In October, Stewart said he suffered a collapsed lung because of the shooting. He was undergoing physical therapy and used a walker to get around.
"I'm grateful to be alive," Stewart told the newspaper in October. "I'm just praying that God nurses me and takes care of me like he has."
Information from: The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com
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