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Florida man gave his grandfather a glowing eulogy weeks before he was arrested for his murder

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A month after he was filmed giving a glowing eulogy at his grandfather’s funeral, a Florida man was put behind bars for shooting him dead. 

Joshua Nareau, 23, extolled his grandfather James Khoury, 71 at the time of his death, to a room of mourners on Jan. 7.

“Jim, I called him Grampy, by blood he was my grandfather, as a person he was my father. He helped raise me. He made me the person I am today,” Nareau said to the crowd at the North Port church. “You are all here because you knew and loved my grandfather and I thank you so much for that. My goal in life is to be as good as this man was. He helped everyone in this room in some way and I know that.”

But by that point, according to a press release from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department, police considered Nareau a suspect in Khoury’s Dec. 28 death

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On February 15, Nareau was arrested on second-degree murder charges and sent to Charlotte County Jail without bail, the department wrote. 

A probable cause statement obtained by Law & Crime shows that forensic testing tied Nareau’s rifle to evidence found at the the scene of Khoury’s death.

“I am glad to finally be able to bring an update to you on this terrible incident. As you can see, even though we were not able to share much with you, my detectives and forensics team did a great job and we had a direction for the investigation and ultimately got the person responsible,” Sheriff Bill Prummell wrote. 

“This does not make it any easier for the family of the victim, who now have even more grief to cope with, but I hope it brings peace of mind to the community once more. Please pray for Mr. Khoury’s family as they navigate this unthinkable situation,” Prummell continued.

After Khoury was shot around 5:15 a.m. on Dec. 28 and his wife called police to the South Gulf Cove community, officers could only immediately determine that a rifle had been used to kill him; there were “no known witnesses and no security cameras.” 

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The 71-year-old had been shot through the chest and had a weapon of his own strapped to his hip, according to a probable cause statement obtained by Law & Crime. His wife, Lynda Khoury, told police that she heard a gunshot and saw him fall to the ground after she gave her husband a kiss and saw him out the door. 

Detectives found Nareau sitting in the grass near the crime scene. He told detectives that he’d been sleeping when his grandmother called and told him his grandfather had been shot and ran over to the property as soon as he got dressed.

But over the course of a seven-week investigation, detectives learned that Nareau played a more active role in Khoury’s death than he initially let on. 

A later review of Nareau’s phone data confirmed that he’d walked from his grandparents’ home from his own – but also that he’d walked several hundred meters around the time of the shooting, approximately the distance from his own house to his grandparents’ and back again. 

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When questioned, Nareau simply said he “didn’t know” why his data would indicate the extra mileage, according to the affidavit.

A projectile was found in a pine tree on the south side of Khoury’s home, in the direction of his grandson’s house. An analysis of the projectile showed it could have belonged to a “Savage” bolt action rifle, which detectives said Nareau owns. 

Forensic testing of Nareau’s rifle showed that it was the source of the projectile on February 14, giving detectives the evidence they needed to make an arrest, according to the document.

Charlotte County records also show that Nareau was jailed for several hours on Jan. 11 for driving with his license revoked, but released after he paid a fine of $150.

An attorney listed for Nareau could not be reached for comment. His next court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, per online records. 

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