Alert Citrus System helps nab sword-wielding murder suspect near Citrus Hills

Eric Huffman

A 41 Year-Old Hernando man, Eric Huffman, has been charged with premeditated murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Allegedly, last night around 10:30 PM, Mr. Huffman, stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Brandi Blevins, several times with a large sword, ran over her body with his truck, and then crashed the truck and fled the scene on foot. CCSO received a call about the stabbing and used the Alert Citrus notification system to warn all residents registered to receive such alerts within a one-mile radius of the crime scene. The alert not only warned local residents to stay inside and lock their doors and windows, it yielded a tip about Mr. Huffman’s hiding location immediately after the incident took place. According to the excerpt of the CCSO Facebook post below, the suspect has confessed to the crime(s) but at this time CCSO has not shared a possible motive with the public. The Suncoast Standard will be investigating what the motive might have been, if the suspect has already secured legal representation yet, and if drugs and/or alcohol played a role in this horrific crime. According to CCSO, Mr. Huffman had two recent arrests of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon on his criminal record prior to the deadly attack on Sunday evening.

This has already become a national news story within minutes of the CCSO releasing the story.

From CCSO FB page:

“Just before 10:30 PM Sunday evening, deputies responded to a home on E. Benjamin St. after receiving a call that a woman was being stabbed. When deputies arrived, they found Brandi Blevins, 42, of Hernando, dead in the front yard. A witness, who was also staying at the home, told deputies that the suspect, Eric Huffman, 41, of Hernando, had fled on foot.

The CCSO immediately issued an Alert Citrus notification to every resident within a one-mile radius asking them to lock their doors, to be on the lookout for an armed subject, and to call 9-1-1 if they saw anyone suspicious. Nearby residents called into our dispatch center stating they had seen the subject on foot. While deputies, K-9 teams and aviation were canvasing the area, a nearby neighbor told deputies there was a man on her back pool deck. Deputies responded to the residence and took Huffman into custody without incident.

CCSO at Eric Huffman's Crime Scene
The morning after: CCSO personnel huddle up at the crime scene

During the investigation, detectives discovered Huffman had stabbed Blevins, his ex-girlfriend, with a large sword. Blevins was found deceased at the base of the front porch with multiple deep lacerations to her legs, thighs, torso and body. Blevins also had a large wound on the back of her head. According to one witness, after Huffman stabbed Blevins, he ran to his truck and proceeded to run the victim over before crashing into a nearby tree. The suspect then ran away from the home and was later found and taken into custody by deputies.

During an interview with detectives, Huffman confessed to stabbing Blevins. He is charged with one count of premeditated murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Huffman has a lengthy criminal history including burglary, resisting law enforcement and two recent arrests of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

“First and foremost – our thoughts and prayers are with those who were impacted by this horrible crime,” says Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “This is a perfect example of why Alert Citrus is such an important tool for our agency. We captured this extremely dangerous man quickly because we were able to warn nearby residents immediately.”

We appreciate the public for being so responsive and calling our Communications Center after receiving the alert. This is still an ongoing investigation. If you would like to sign up for Alert Citrus, our emergency notification system, please visit, go to the middle of the page and click on “Sign up for Alert Citrus”. It’s a fast, easy, and a FREE way to get emergency notifications sent right to your cell phone.

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