JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Three men were arrested Wednesday night in connection to the murder of a man who was found dead Tuesday morning in downtown Jacksonville.
Ryan Nichols, 19, of St. Johns, is facing a second-degree murder charge, while Daniel DeGuardia, 18, of St. Augustine, and Holden Dodson, 21, of Jacksonville, are facing a charge of accessory after the fact in murder, according to a news release from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Action News Jax previously told you that the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and SWAT Team helped JSO serve search warrants on Wednesday afternoon in relation to a Jacksonville murder investigation at a house in Stonehurst Plantation and a house in Durbin Park.
Around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, police said a passerby saw a man laying on the ground next to a dumpster in the 500 block of West Ashley Street. That person flagged down a JSO bailiff, who called the report into dispatch.
More JSO officers responded and found “multiple shell casings (9mm), an extended magazine with live rounds (9mm) beside the victim and multiple bullet defects to the dumpster,” according to an arrest report.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department also responded and pronounced the 39-year-old man dead of what appeared to be a gunshot wound.
The arrest report claims that the victim was being chased by at least one of the suspects during the 2 a.m. hour on Tuesday, and the victim tried to hide behind the dumpster.
According to the report, Homicide and Crime Scene Unit detectives learned that the three men were traveling in a Jeep Grand Cherokee around the same time and found that DeGuardia was driving, while Dodson and Nichols were occupants.
The car and the men were spotted at the 7-Eleven on Julia Street. Through law enforcement databases, investigators found that the car was registered to DeGuardia’s mother and tracked it to an address in St. Augustine.
JSO also found that Dodson had recently reported to them a lost handgun (Glock model 48, 9mm caliber).
“Review of the body worn camera footage related to his report of the lost firearm, further confirmed that Holden Dodson was the person that was an occupant of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the person that entered the 7-Eleven around the time of the incident on 5/2/2023,” the report said.
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The report said “Nichols matched the physical appearance (physical stature, race, sex, hair color, hair length, and hair style) to the person (redacted) in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and chasing the victim.”
JSO’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center and Community Problem Response Units and assisted in locating the vehicle and suspects.
All three men were arrested at the home where police also recovered the car used in the murder.