Saturday, April 28, 2007

Evidence test results due in '06 turnpike killings

Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

April 28, 2007

The case against two West Palm Beach men accused of killing a family of four on Florida's Turnpike in October of 2006 might heat up next month as the federal government finishes testing evidence and could announce whether it will seek the death penalty.

Ricardo Sanchez, 23, and Daniel Troya, 24, were indicted in the deaths last week and were in federal court in West Palm Beach on Friday. They pleaded not guilty to charges including armed carjacking resulting in death and using a firearm in a crime of violence.

St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said Sanchez and Troya killed their leader, Jose Luis Escobedo, 28, and his family -- Yessica, 25, and sons Jose Damien, 4, and Luis Julian, 3 -- in October. Escobedo and his brother ran one of the biggest cocaine rings in the eastern United States, Mascara said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Carlton said his office was preparing a memo for the U.S. attorney general, who will decide on seeking the death penalty.

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