ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida police ordered Sophie Isabel Solis’ live-in boyfriend to stay away from her earlier this month after he was accused of slashing her arms with a knife and threatening to kill her, court records show.
Twelve days later, Solis, 43, of St. Petersburg, was dead. Her boyfriend, Warren Clement Brown, is accused of killing her.
Brown, 57, was arrested Saturday and charged with second-degree murder, according to St. Petersburg police officials. Pinellas County records show he is also charged with aggravated domestic assault, aggravated domestic battery with a deadly weapon and violation of pretrial release.
"Friends concerned for her welfare found her body in the trunk of Brown's car in the driveway last week," police officials said Sunday in a news release. "She had been stabbed."
Pinellas County court records portray a dysfunctional yearlong relationship between Brown and Solis, with Solis filing multiple complaints of domestic violence against Brown.
Solis' brother, Sheridan Blair, on Wednesday shared screenshots of messages his sister sent him in recent weeks. One of them was particularly ominous.
"Warren is going to kill me," Solis wrote on Nov. 9, the same day Brown is accused of cutting her with a knife.
Blair wrote on his Facebook page that the last information his sister sent him before her death was her address: 7380 Organdy Drive in St. Petersburg, the home in the Meadowlawn neighborhood that she shared with Brown -- and the place where she would die days later.
"We were just days from having a plan of action for her, and a couple weeks maybe of her leaving him for good," Blair wrote. "She stated to me one main reason she never left was because he threatened to kill her family: her boys, myself and our parents.
“She kept saying she did not want to get us involved like that. Little does she know I would rather deal with him coming after me and still have her here to talk, laugh and joke with.”
Solis, under her former name, Stacie Leigh Blair, also had arrests stemming from her relationship with Brown, including an August charge that she violated a no-contact order demanding she stay away from Brown.
Solis texted Brown Aug. 3 and asked him to bring her some food, after which the couple got into a physical fight, court records show. Brown, who the Tampa Bay Times reported punched Solis in the face, was arrested for domestic battery.
Both he and Solis were ordered to stay away from one another.
Solis texted Brown again two days later, asking him to bring her some vape pens, the records say. She was later found asleep inside Brown’s home and was taken into custody.
Brown was also charged with violating the no-contact order that day, the records show.
Civil court records show that Brown filed a petition in June claiming that Solis was squatting in the Organdy Drive house because she had refused his demands to move out. A deed filed with the petition shows Brown bought the home in September 1993 with his wife at the time.
Brown voluntarily dismissed the court case against Solis on Aug. 2, the day before they got into a fight at the house.
The couple’s tumultuous relationship appears to have escalated earlier this month, when Brown threatened Solis and a man named Michael Bell. Court documents show that, like the earlier incidents, the confrontation occurred at the Organdy Drive address.
“The victims were in fear for their lives when the defendant came outside and approached them with a large kitchen knife while stating, ‘I’ll kill you all,’” the Nov. 9 arrest affidavit says.
He used the knife on Solis, police allege.
“The victim had visible lacerations on both of her forearms,” the criminal complaint states.
The cuts were minor, about an inch in length. Solis told officers Brown cut her during an argument in the kitchen.
He denied the allegations, according to the complaint.
Brown was arrested but was able to have his bail amount reduced the next day to $15,000, according to the Times. A court order demanded that he stay at least 500 feet away from Solis at all times.
He violated that order Nov. 12 by going to the home in search of his checkbook, authorities say.
“The defendant left the house when he realized that the victim was on the phone with police,” a police report states. “There is a witness to the offense who was in the house when this occurred.”
On Nov. 14, a week before she was killed, Solis requested that prosecutors drop the aggravated domestic battery charge against Brown. She also asked that she and her boyfriend be able to have contact with one another again.
The criminal complaint in Solis' death indicates what happened next in the couple's relationship. Read the criminal complaint below, or scroll down for the rest of the story.
Police officials say a witness, identified only as Witness A, saw Brown and Solis together at their home on Nov. 19. Around 8:40 a.m. the next day, Solis told a second witness, identified as Witness B, that she would “be right over.”
Solis never showed up.
Later that day, Brown sent Witness B a text stating that Solis was asleep, the court records show. He told Witness A that same day to “avoid coming home,” the complaint says.
It was not made clear in the court records who Witness A is or where the witness lives.
The next day, Witness B saw Brown drive up to his home in his Cadillac, which he covered with a car cover, the affidavit says.
“Witness A and Witness B became concerned for the wellbeing of the victim after finding the home in disarray. They located the victim’s purse in a pile of clutter,” the document states. “They also located a spare set of keys to the defendant’s vehicle.”
When the witnesses opened the trunk of the car, they found Solis’ body, according to the complaint.
Several items belonging to Brown were also found with Solis’ body, including framed photos of the couple, bloody paper towels and a blood-soaked men’s robe with Brown’s name monogrammed on it, the records show.
Police also found a “leather-covered slapjack with blood, hair and flesh on it,” the document says.
A slapjack is a leather-covered weapon consisting of a flat, heavy piece of metal. It gets its name from the slapping sound it makes when it hits a person’s flesh.
Detectives armed with a search warrant went inside Brown’s home and found blood spatter on the ceilings of two rooms, the complaint says.
After being read his Miranda rights, Brown admitted he stabbed Solis and hid her body in his trunk, the records show. Brown is being held without bond in the Pinellas County Jail.
Commenters on the St. Petersburg Police Department's Facebook post about Brown's arrest said Brown used to work for Cozzini Bros, a nationwide knife sharpening company.
"The knives make sense," a man named Joe Jacobbi wrote. "He used to deliver us freshly sharpened knives. He literally said his nickname was 'Blade Runner.' Wow."
Alicia Fish wrote that Brown’s house is right behind her father’s home.
"I grew up listening to his drunken, loud yelling," Fish wrote on the department's page. "He has a daughter and an ex-wife. I used to hear him yelling at them all the time."
Cat Rush wrote that Brown hid his Cadillac at her house in August because Solis allegedly kept slashing his tires. She said the judge who allowed Brown out on bond after the alleged Nov. 9 assault on Solis shares the blame for her death.
"They should have never been aloud (sic) around each other after his last arrest," Rush wrote.
According to an April New York Times report, homicides by intimate partners are on the rise after nearly four decades of decline. A study authored by James Alan Fox, a criminologist and professor of criminal justice at Northeastern University, showed a 19 percent increase in victims from 2014 to 2017.
More than 68 percent of the 2,237 victims in 2017 were women, according to the study, which relied on FBI statistics.
Fox told the Huffington Post that the rise is largely driven by gun violence. Gun-related homicides of domestic partners have gone up by 26 percent since 2010, while those involving other weapons -- like knives -- have continued to decline.
The researcher declined to speculate on why domestic violence homicides have gone up.
"Regardless of the whys, efforts to disarm abusers and stalkers are critical," Fox told the Huffington Post. "All too often, guns that are purchased and kept in the home, ostensibly for the purpose of self-defense, end up being used against a family member."
Cox Media Group