Jury Returns Verdict of Death for Turnpike Homicides
APR 02 -- Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division and R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced that a federal jury in West Palm Beach has returned verdicts in the penalty phase of the capital prosecutions of defendants Daniel Troya, and Ricardo Sanchez, both of West Palm Beach.
After deliberating for four days, the jury returned verdicts of death against Troya and Sanchez on Counts 7 and 8 (murders of two toddlers) and life in prison without the possibility of release on Counts 6, 9, and 10 (carjacking and the murders of Jose Luis and Yessica Escobedo). Each defendant previously had been convicted on five separate death-penalty eligible counts relating to the brutal murders of Jose Luis Escobedo, Yessica Guerrero Escobedo and their two sons, Luis Damian Escobedo, age 3, and Luis Julian Escobedo, age 4, on October 13, 2006.
All defendants have been held without bond since their arrests on October 25, 2006. Sentencing for the remaining defendants has been set for May 15, 2009; all defendants have been in custody since their arrest on October 25, 2006.
Mr. Acosta commended the detailed and collaborative investigative work of the DEA, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the City of West Palm Beach Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that led to the successful prosecutions. The case was prosecuted in West Palm Beach by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Carlton and John S. Kastrenakes, along with Richard Burns from the Department of Justice, Capital Crimes Unit.