EAST NAPLES, Fla.- A Collier County landlord accused of murdering one of his tenants made his first appearance in court today.
Authorities say 78-year-old Javier Ortoll shot and killed 51-year-old Edward Melone near Okeechobee Street in the East Naples area.
Melone's father spoke exclusively to WINK News, saying there was a dispute over rent.
According to Ortoll's arrest report, a witness told deputies Ortoll and Melone were arguing, when Melone dropped his cell phone into Ortoll's van. When Melone reached in to retrieve it, the witness said Ortoll shot him at point-blank range.
Deputies found a semi-automatic weapon on the front passenger seat of Ortoll's van, in plain view, according to the report. After a preliminary search of the vehicle, three guns were found inside.
In court today, a judge asked to see more evidence before moving ahead with Second Degree Murder charges against Ortoll.
Ortoll's attorney said he doesn't think there is enough proof to charge Ortoll with Second Degree Murder.
Melone died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Ortoll's lawyer insists his client was trying to protect himself.
The judge is bringing everyone, including Ortoll, back to court tomorrow.