Man once voted ‘most likely to succeed’ now accused of killing mom

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Joshua Carmona was considered by his high school classmates at Thomas Jefferson High School in Tampa as a young man with a bright future.

During his senior year, they voted him as “most likely to succeed.”

In March, Carmona was accused of brutally killing his mother in their Riverview home on her birthday.

New documents released in the case show a medical examiner’s report that found Tahirih Lua D’Angelo, 39, was hit five times in the face and head and then soon after she died, her throat was cut deeply with a knife.

Carmona, 18, later confessed to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detectives that he had killed his mother.

Carmona’s step father told Hillsborough deputies something didn’t seem right the day she was killed.

He admitted he had a strained relationship with Carmona.

The teen had been caught using marijuana during his senior year of high school. He was later arrested for a D.U.I and then when he went north for college, he was accused of assaulting a woman and stealing her car.

Stephen D’Angelo tried to text his wife that day, but the messages didn’t seem like they were coming back from his wife. The wording that was used in the texts just didn’t seem like something she would say.

D’Angelo told detectives that he was becoming increasingly suspicious about what was going on, so he contacted his father to go check on his wife at their Riverview home.

Robert D’Angelo went to the home and found Tahirih dead in a pool of blood.

Friends who knew Carmona at Jefferson High School find it difficult to believe he could do this to his own mother.

“He was just kind of to himself. Everyone knew he was really, really smart,” said Marian Gonzalez, who knew Carmona for several years before the murder.

The last time she had seen Carmona, he texted her because he had too much to drink and needed a ride home.

“He was just quiet for the most part. He didn’t really show any warning signs that he would do this,” said Gonzalez.

During his senior year, he entered a talent competition with an emotional speech about his mother.

“It was nice things, yeah, it wasn’t anything bad. It was just him saying how he was working so hard for her, like it was a really moving speech,” said Gonzalez.

It was the kind of speech that made people cry. His mother was in the audience that night.

“It was like that factor that got everyone crying, like the girls. It was a really nice speech. His mom was in the crowd, she got up,” said Gonzalez.

That’s what makes it more difficult for his friends to understand what happened.

“That’s what we don’t know. That’s really what no one knows,” said Gonzalez.

Carmona is now facing first degree murder charges for his mother’s murder.

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