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Pinellas deputies arrest woman for murder years after the stabbing death of her father at his home in unincorporated Clearwater

Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office have identified the suspect from the homicide investigation of 71-year-old Daniel Gillespie, Jr., as his daughter, 46 year-old Shannon Gillespie.

Deputies initially responded to a private residence located at 1506 Meadow Dale Drive in Clearwater shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2018 for a report of a deceased person.

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Detectives responded to the scene to conduct the death investigation and confirmed Daniel Gillespie, Jr. died from unnatural causes.

Deputies investigating death in Unincorporated Clearwater

On November 17, 2018, the Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy on the victim. The Medical Examiner advised the cause of death was blunt and sharp injuries, and the manner of death was homicide.

Through new developments in the case, detectives learned Shannon Gillespie hid within the residence and waited for the opportunity to surprise the victim. The suspect then beat and stabbed her father on November 15, 2018.

On Friday, March 26, 2021 at approximately 8:46 a.m. Shannon Gillespie was arrested at her residence located at 1105 Highland Street North, in St. Petersburg, for First Degree Murder.

According to arrest documentation, Gillespie informed her son of the death and had him discover the victim deceased later that night in order to notify the police.

During the arrest, Shannon Gillespie was involved in an altercation with another female on scene and was also charged with Battery.

Shannon Gillespie was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.

Court records indicate that some legal action prior to the murder affirmed that 71 year-old Daniel Chaplin Gillespie, Jr was able to take possession of the home at 1506 Meadow Dale Drive in a life estate following the 2009 death of his wife, Sharon Gillespie.

His daughter, 44 year-old Shannon Gillespie along with three other siblings believed they each had a 1/4 remaining interest in the home. Shannon was reportedly living in the home with her 3 school age children. Daniel Gillespie III, age 19, also appeared to reside a the home. The home was in her mother’s family for many generations but legal issues recently surfaced. Daniel Jr. proceeded to move to evict Shannon and her children from the home.

Shannon and Daniel, III were entwined in domestic violence injunctions with their father, Daniel, Jr. in July of 2018. On October 20, 2018, he was arrested for a violation of this injunction after entering the Publix on Belcher Road that Shannon also occupied simultaneously

On October 2, 2018, Mr. Gillespie filed paperwork to revoke his permission for Shannon and others to reside at the home.

This possession of the home was given to Daniel Gillespie, Jr by court order on November 15, 2018. The notice also gave the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office the approval to, “remove all persons” from the property 24 hours after the notice was posted at the residence.  It was the evening of November 15th that Daniel Gillespie Jr. was found deceased.

At the same address, Clearwater Fire & Rescue crews were called to 1506 Meadow Dale Drive in unincorporated Pinellas County just before 3:30 a.m. on January 29, 2020 for a house fire.

Home destroyed by fire in unincorporated Clearwater

The structure, which was vacant, was engulfed in flames upon arrival.

No injuries were reported in the fire. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and Clearwater Fire & Rescue investigators worked to determine the cause of the fire. It is unknown if Gillespie is a suspect in the case related to the house fire.


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