Some criminal suspects are arrested very soon after they committed a crime. Others remain free while police investigators gather evidence and compile information that will lead to identifying the suspects. On April 10, 2018, a man was shot to death in his garage in Fruitland Park. Police have just now announced that three suspects have been arrested and charged with the murder.
The victim was working in his garage repairing a truck. Three men stopped in the alley, and two of them entered the garage to rob the victim. The victim was shot and killed in the garage, and the three men fled the scene. Investigators were able to learn that they were traveling in a black Honda. A vehicle matching the description was stopped a few days later, but all occupants of the car were able to escape on foot.
Police recovered a firearm from the car, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement laboratory determined that shell casings recovered from the crime scene matched casings from the firearm found in the car. Using this information, police were able to obtain identities for the three suspects. Two of the men were already in police custody on unrelated charges. FDLE Special Agent Danny Banks said that the FDLE and Fruitland Park police worked long hours and followed many leads before they were able to identify the three suspects.
Many details in the case have not been revealed. For example, did police have probable cause to stop the Honda and did they have probable cause to search the vehicle? Is the alleged match of shell casing scientifically valid? Anyone charged with a crime under similar circumstances may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence, assistance in preparing a defense and, if circumstances warrant, negotiating a favorable plea bargain.