Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Turnpike slayings: Jury deliberations to continue today

WEST PALM BEACH - Jurors in the 2006 Florida's turnpike homicides were told to return to court this morning after deliberating Tuesday for more than seven hours.

The 12-member panel received the case midday Monday and have been deliberating for nearly 12 hours.

On trial are Daniel Troya and Ricardo Sanchez, both 25, who are charged with armed carjacking and other offenses stemming from the Oct. 13, 2006, shooting deaths of Jose "Lou" Escobedo, his 25-year-old wife, Yessica, and their two boys, ages 4 and 3.

The family had moved to Greenacres from Texas several months earliler.

Troya and Sanchez could face a death penalty if convicted.

Co-defendants Danny Varela, 28, and Liana Lee Lopez, 20, do not face charges related to the killings, but are being tried for numerous offenses stemming from an alleged drug trafficking ring federal prosecutors say led to the killings.

Jurors on Tuesday sent several questions to U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley, related to evidence in the case.

They wanted to see weapons seized days after the killings from Varela's West Palm Beach house, including an AK-47-styled firearm and a sawed-off Ruger.

They also requested a list of all the locations police found drugs during that same raid on Oct. 25, 2006.

Hundreds of grams of crack and powdered cocaine were found stashed throughout the house, which witnesses at the trial referred to as "thug mansion."

(Source :

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