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Florida Teen Accused of Murdering His Mom on Her Birthday

Investigators say a Florida man told them he'd been thinking for a long time about killing his mother and finally decided to go through with it on Monday, on her 39th birthday.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies arrested Joshua Leon Carmona, 18, early Tuesday. He's facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of Tahirih Lua D'Angelo.

According to an arrest affidavit, Carmona struck his mother in the face with a baseball bat and kept hitting her until she was unconscious. He told investigators he then stabbed her in the neck with a large butcher knife at her home in Riverview, which is near Tampa on Florida's west coast.

Image: Joshua Leon Carmona, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Joshua Leon Carmona, 18 years old Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

After the attack, Carmona took his mother's car to pick up his 3-year-old half-sister from a day care center. The arrest report said he took the girl to a park, where he met a friend. He told the friend that he "killed somebody and he was going to prison for a long time," the report said. He also told the friend he was considering killing himself.

Deputies said the friend took the child and returned her to relatives.

Authorities, meanwhile, were searching for the mother's white Nissan Sentra after a relative found her body Monday afternoon. They found Carmona driving it on an interstate and pulled him over, at which point he got out and threw himself to the ground, the arrest report said.

Carmona told investigators that he left the knife in the sink and the blood-covered baseball bat beside the front door. He also said he'd tried to clean the carpet with baking soda.

His family told deputies there was no warning of domestic violence.

But sheriff spokeswoman Donna Lusczynski said Carmona "had been planning to kill his mother and stepfather for a period of time." She didn't say how long.

Authorities didn't say where the stepfather was during the attack.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Carmona has been arrested twice outside of Florida. On Nov. 30, he was arrested in Pennsylvania on charges that he stole a Jeep after telling the owner that he would hurt her if she didn't give him her keys. The report says he shoved her to the ground before stealing the vehicle, and that when authorities later found him in the car, he had marijuana and two flannel shirts he'd stolen from a mailbox. He said he was a Fordham University student and had driven out "to commit suicide under the stars."

Lusczynski said he was also previously arrested in Georgia on a DUI charge. No date was provided.

Carmona was being held without bond on Tuesday. Jail records don't list an attorney for him.