In the high-profile murder trial of 35-year-old Luis A Toledo, a St Johns County jury took approximately eight-hours today to convict the former Number 3 leader in the “Florida Latin Kings” gang of two-counts of first-degree murder, capital felonies punishable by death, and one-count of second-degree murder. Toledo was also convicted of tampering with physical evidence.
Toledo was found guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of his wife, 28-year-old Yessenia Suarez, and two-counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her children, 9-year-old Thalia and 8-year-old Michael. The mother and children were reported missing from their home at 317 Covent Gardens Place in Deltona on October 23, 2013 and their bodies have never been found.
“Justice in this case is holding the defendant accountable for the murders of Yessenia, Thalia and Michael,” State Attorney RJ Larizza told local reporters today. “During the sentencing phase, we will continue to seek accountability for these brutal and senseless murders.”
Assistant State Attorneys Ryan Will and Mark Johnson of the State Attorney’s Homicide Investigations Unit prosecuted the case. The penalty phase of the trial will begin next week.
Chief Judge Raul Zambrano presided over the case that was transferred from Volusia County last month. The jury trial lasted three-weeks.