Florida man stops to help stranded motorist who turned out to be hitman hired to kill him

Posted By Staff

Date: September 11th, 2018

Category: Nutty News

hitWhen police found Carlos Cruz-Echevarria dead near his home last Veterans Day, he was lying face down in a ditch, shot multiple times in the head.

Beside him was a truck stuck in the mud. Later, the 60-year-old army veteran’s car was found several miles away, torched. It seemed like a random, senseless killing: authorities thought Cruz-Echevarria had been robbed and left for dead after stopping to help a stranger on a Daytona Beach roadside. But a year long investigation has revealed that it was anything but random.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Department arrested two men and a woman this week in what they are calling a murder-for-hire plot to keep Cruz-Echaverria from testifying in a road rage case.

The three have been charged with first degree murder, and prosecutors are considering the death penalty, sheriff Michael Chitwood said in a Friday news conference.

“This is one of the most heinous, despicable, cowardly acts that I’ve ever witnessed,” Mr Chitwood said. “Somebody’s gonna pay the ultimate price.”

In a savage stroke of fate, a passing driver stopped to help him out: Cruz-Echevarria. As he bent to inspect the truck, authorities said, Bascom shot him multiple times in the head.

“The stars aligned unfortunately,” sheriff Chitwood said during the news conference. “He didn’t even see it coming.”

In some ways, the plot worked: the charges against McFoley were dropped, and for months, it seemed there would be no justice in Cruz-Echevarria’s slaying. Investigators offered a $10,000 (£7,700) reward for information leading to the killer’s capture. Then DNA evidence tied the stolen car and Cruz-Echevarria’s torched one to Bascom, but the real “smoking gun” in the case came from phone records, Mr Henderson said.

All three alleged co-conspirators were arrested Tuesday in different parts of the state, Mr Henderson said. Bascom was trying to flee – he had bought a one-way ticket to Texas and was going through security check at Orlando International Airport when he was arrested. US marshals nabbed McFoley in Orlando. Volusia County detectives caught Roque on a Florida interstate highway.

Assistant state attorney Ryan Will said prosecutors are considering seeking the death penalty for the three people charged in Cruz-Echevarria’s death. In the next 30 days, prosecutors will talk with the victim’s family and see what their wishes are moving forward, but as of now, capital punishment is a possibility, Mr Will said.

Cruz-Echevarria was a hardworking, self-made man who was beloved by those who knew him, Volusia County Sheriff’s office detective said in a video shown at the news conference. His slaying “brought the community to its knees”.

Mr Chitwood said he hopes the defendants get the death penalty, stressing that Cruz-Echevarria had not deserved to die.

“A road rage incident where a man does what he’s supposed to do: notify the police, cooperate with the system, and his thanks was to end up with multiple bullets in his head,” he said.

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