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Investigators: Man Returns Weapon Used in Killing For Refund

May 15, 1987

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ A man who allegedly killed his father and wounded his stepmother returned to a gun store and asked for his money back on the weapon he had bought earlier in the day, saying he didn’t like the way it handled, authorities say.

William Joseph Ferran, 29, bought a Titan .25-caliber automatic pistol at Barrett’s Guns at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, employee Phyllis Warren told investigators. He also bought 50 rounds of ammunition.

At 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Ms. Warren said, Ferran returned the pistol and asked for a refund, saying the gun hurt his hand when he fired and was difficult to handle.

He had purchased the gun for $69.95 but was given only $30 because the gun was used, she said.

The pistol matched the slugs found in the suburban Orange County home of Wilbur Ferran, 62, and his wife, Jeanette, 49, according to Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Randy Means.

The two were found by a friend on the living room floor of their home early Wednesday. The husband had been shot three times in the back; his wife was shot once in the back of the neck.

She was reported in critical condition today at Orlando Regional Medical Center, according to nursing coordinator Cathy Ruane.

The younger Ferran was arrested late Wednesday and charged with murder in the death of his father, Means said. Deputies said Ferran also will be charged with wounding his stepmother.

To purchase the gun, Ferran lied on federal forms that asked if he had ever been admitted to a mental hospital or had a criminal record, The Orlando Sentinel reported today.

Records show he had been treated at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, Suzanne Tompkins, deputy clerk for the Leon County Circuit Court, told the newspaper.

In 1985, Ferran was charged with tresspass after warning and aggravated battery when he cut a man’s finger with a camping knife after being chased for trying to steal merchandise from a supermarket in Tallahassee.

A judge declared Ferran incompetent to stand trial and he was sent to the hospital for treatment, according to court records, Ms. Tompkins said. He was released in February after being declared competent to stand trial. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to the county jail, but was given credit for time served, Ms. Tompkins said.

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