A man was found dead and his car was torched in Daytona Beach roadside, Florida. At first, police thought it was a case of random killing but a year-long investigation revealed he was killed by a hitman.
Police found Carlos Cruz-Echevarria’s dead body in a ditch and his damaged car last year. Initial reports showed it was a random incident and police thought he was robbed. Authorities initiated an investigation into the killing.
The investigation concluded recently and it showed the incident was not at all random.
The 60-year-old was an army veteran and the incident took place last Veterans Day. It turned out he was killed by three people, two men and a woman, who were hired to kill him so he doesn’t testify in a road-rage incident.
According to investigators, the murder plot was made six month prior to the incident.
Kelsey Terrance McFoley paid Benjamin Jaquaric Antonio Bascom to kill the army veteran in order to keep him from testifying against him.
Bascom along with Melissa Rios Roque made a murder plan. The woman was responsible in stalking Cruz-Echevarria and help Bascom once the task was completed. The two then bought a stolen car to execute their plan.
They made several rounds to keep a check on the victim and once they gathered enough information about Cruz-Echevarria, they drove the car to his home to kill him.
However, the plan didn’t turn out as they had initially thought of it because the 60-year-old was not at his home at that time. However, Bascom decided to wait for him.
While he was doing so, he decided to take a round on the street and that is when his car got stuck in a muddy ditch.
A driver passing by then helped him and when Bascom saw him, it was Cruz-Echevarria himself. When the army veteran bent down to check Bascom’s car, the hitman executed his plan and killed the victim.
Police arrested the three suspects and prosecutors are now considering death penalty.
“This is one of the most heinous, despicable, cowardly acts that I’ve ever witnessed. Somebody’s gonna pay the ultimate price,” said Sheriff Michael Chitwood.
Bascom was arrested at Orlando International Airport, Roque was arrested on an interstate highway and McFoley was captured by police in Orlando.
In May 2017, Cruz-Echevarria got into an unexpected road-rage incident when he honked at the car ahead of him as it didn’t move once the signal went green.
He moved on and forgot about it but at the next intersection McFoley pulled out a gun at Cruz-Echevarria and asked him if he had a problem. He also reportedly threatened to shoot him.
The army veteran was able to note down McFoley’s truck number and reported the incident to the police. The suspect was charged with aggregated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. A trial date of December 2017 was also set; however, in order to avoid a prison sentence, he decided to hire a hitman.
“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,” said Chitwood.
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