A Florida man with anti-government beliefs was charged Monday with murder for the fatal stabbing of his pro-Trump boss following a political argument, police said.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Mason Trever Toney, a 28-year-old construction worker, was arrested the same day for allegedly killing William Knight, also 28. Police described Knight as “a proud and outspoken American and pro-Donald Trump.”
“We can confirm that they were known to each other,” said Deputy Christian Marrero.
At 10:45 a.m., Toney’s coworker called 911 from a construction site along the Florida Turnpike, the arrest affidavit showed. The unnamed man accused Toney of stabbing their boss to death.
Deputies found Knight dead next to an excavator with a brand-new American flag draped over the side of his body. Witnesses said Toney was spotted carrying a backpack, where he is thought to have kept the flag until after the stabbing.
Knight gave Toney and ride to work on Monday before the two men, who were friends, got into an argument, possibly over their opposing political views, witnesses said. Toney is known to be outspoken about politics and has said the government is out to get him, they said.
Witnesses recalled hearing Knight yell for help and seeing Toney repeatedly stabbing him with a trowel. They tried to stop the attack and threw objects at Toney, but he jumped into a truck and drove away, calling them “terrorists,” according to the affidavit.
The sheriff’s office on Monday released a photo of Toney and a white Dodge Ram pickup truck they said he was driving as they searched for him. They arrested him in neighbouring Brevard County and booked him at the Orange County Corrections Department, where he was being held without bond.
A portion of the Florida Turnpike was closed while homicide detectives gathered information and interviewed witnesses.
“Detectives are thoroughly working through every lead, talking to every witness that was on scene, in order to determine what happened here today,” Marrero said.
According to Fox 13 News, Knight’s family said he and Toney had been friends since grade school. Knight woke up “extra early” every morning to pick Toney up and bring him to work, the family reportedly said.