Friday, March 27, 2009

Jury to resume debate of death or life for killers of family on turnpike

WEST PALM BEACH — Jurors ended a second day of deliberations Friday without making a decision as to whether Ricardo Sanchez Jr. and Daniel Troya will spend life in prison or be put to death for the 2006 murders of the Escobedo family on Florida's Turnpike.

Prosecutors say Sanchez and Troya, both 25, killed cocaine supplier Jose Luis Escobedo, his wife and his two sons to steal the cocaine Escobedo was carrying and to relieve their boss, convicted drug dealer Danny Varela, of a drug debt.

Jurors were given three options before they began deliberating Thursday - unanimous life, unanimous death or a unanimous decision to let U.S. District Senior Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley determine the sentence. Life is the maximum penalty a federal judge can issue under those circumstances. If the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision, then sentencing will also fall to Hurley.


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