TAMPA (FOX 13) - It's probably not how Tyler Bardin expected to leave the courthouse Thursday morning; in handcuffs, surrounded by deputies, facing a second-degree murder charge.
Just minutes earlier, Bardin was smiling with his attorney, Ty Trayner in court.
He was there for a tampering charge. Even his attorney was caught off guard by the turn of events.
Bardin's troubles started last December when his mother was seen with a fresh black eye and bruises. Police say she was beaten by her boyfriend, Brian Vessel.
Brian Vessel was later shot and killed by Bardin, which deputies initially said was an incident of self-defense. Now, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office investigators say it was not just a son protecting his mother during an attack.
Bardin's actions following the shooting are what investigators say paint a different picture.
First, he had a standoff with the SWAT team. He was caught trying to sneak through the back patio of his mother's apartment.
Then he ditched the gun deputies say he used to shoot Vessel.
Attorney Anthony Rickman, who is not involved in the case, says the act of trying to conceal a murder weapon shows a consciousness of guilt.
Bardin was charged with tampering with evidence, leading to his surprise arrest. Rickman says investigators might believe Bardin is a flight risk, giving them a reason to surprise him in the courtroom.
Before being taken from the courtroom, he hugged his grandfather.
Bardin now faces a murder charge. Sources say the medical examiner's report shows Vessel's gunshots were from the back, indicating he may have been retreating at the time of the shooting.
"The victim ran. The situation is diffused. If he follows him outside and shoots him in the back, you're not talking about self-defense, you're talking about second-degree murder," said Rickman.
Bardin will be formally charged Friday morning.