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Thread: Luis Toledo Sentenced to 3 Consecutive Life Terms Without Parole in 2013 FL Slayings of Yessenia Suarez and her Children

  1. #61
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Luis Toledo trial: Testimony underway

    By Jason Kelly
    WFTV News

    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Opening statements began Wednesday morning in the murder trial of a 35-year-old Deltona man who is accused of killing his wife and her two children.

    Twelve jurors and three alternates -- 11 of whom are women -- were seated Wednesday for opening statements in the trial of Luis Toledo.

    Toledo is accused of killing Yessenia Suarez, 28, and her children, Thalia Otto, 9, and Michael Otto, 8, who disappeared from their Deltona home in October 2013 but were never found.

    Investigators said Toledo confessed to killing Suarez but denied killing her children. Prosecutors seek the death penalty in the deaths of the childrenToledo was quiet as prosecutors tried to paint him as an angry, jealous husband. They said that his marriage was ending and that he was jealous of an affair Suarez was having.

    Prosecutors said Toledo installed a tracking app on her phone to access her location in real time. They said he killed her in a rage and killed her children to eliminate the potential for witnesses before seeking help from a neighbor to dispose of evidence.

    "His answer is, 'I'll never tell you where the body is,'" Assistant State Attorney Ryan Will said during opening statements Wednesday. "Not that he doesn't know or blames Tyshawn Jackson. 'I'll never tell you where the bodies are.'"

    Defense attorney Jeff Deen said because the bodies haven't been found, it's unknown how the victims died of if they're even dead.

    "Because somebody died doens't make it murder, doesn't make it second-degree murder, doesn't make it first-degree murder," Deen said.

    Toledo is being tried in St. Augustine because of the publicity the case has received.

    The judge chose to not sequester the jury during the trial, which is expected to last through October.

    Suarez's mother testified Wednesday afternoon. Watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 4 to learn what she said.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/local/luis-...rway/622988566
    Last edited by Helen; 10-11-2017 at 12:57 PM. Reason: capitalization, added news source

  2. #62
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    'I'll never tell you where the bodies are,' trial underway in Volusia triple-murder case

    Opening statements begin Wednesday in St. Augustine

    By Emily Speck and Loren Korn
    clickorlando.com

    ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - The triple-murder trial for a Volusia County man accused of killing his wife and her two children started Wednesday morning in St. Augustine.

    Luis Toledo
    is accused of killing Yessenia Suarez and her two children, Thalia Otto, 9, and Michael Otto, 8, in Volusia County in October of 2013.

    A judge ordered that Toledo's first-degree murder trial be held in St. Augustine so the court could seat a jury that hadn't been exposed to the media attention surrounding the case in Central Florida.

    Jury selection began Oct. 2 and ended Tuesday. The pool began last week with 53 potential jurors, and was eventually whittled down to 12 jurors and three alternates. The jury was seated at 9 a.m. Wednesday for opening statements.

    Toledo, dressed in a black suit, walked into the courtroom Wednesday morning ready for trial to begin.

    The state led with opening statements telling jurors about the inconsistencies in Toledo's statements to police about what happened to his wife and her two children, the night the three disappeared.

    Prosecutors said Toledo even told investigators, "I'll never tell you where the bodies are."

    The prosecution also said that the couple had money issues and Suarez had an affair with a co-worker, which they said was the beginning of the end for the couple.

    Once Suarez said she wanted a divorce, the state said, Toledo put a tracking app on her phone to watch her every move, email and text. The state plans to present this evidence during the trial.

    Prosecutors said they believe that affair, those messages -- and the fact that Suarez wanted a divorce is what triggered Toledo to snap.

    Toldedo's defense team followed with their opening statements just before noon.

    Defense lawyer Jeff Deen asked the jury to not make up their minds about Toledo's guilt until the end of the trial.

    "Proof of death isn't proof of murder," Deen said. "And at the end of the day, when the proof is done, I think it's going to be really the evidence that tells you that they weren't able to prove it."

    Suarez's mother, Felicia Perez, testifed later on Wednesday about what she saw and heard hours before her daughter and grandchildren disappeared.

    She described the couples' marriage as "rocky."

    If found guilty, Toledo could face the death penalty.

    https://www.clickorlando.com/news/tr...er-luis-toledo
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

  3. #63
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    if he never say where are the bodies he might have more charges coming
    Last edited by CharlesMartel; 10-12-2017 at 07:26 AM. Reason: comment

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    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Luis Toledo trial, Day 2: Yessenia Suarez's ex-lover testifies

    By Bailey Myers
    mynews13.com

    Yessenia Suarez's former lover took the stand Thursday to testify in the case against Suarez's husband, Luis Toledo

    Toledo is charged with killing his wife Yessenia Suarez, and her two children Thalia and Michael Otto in October of 2013. Their bodies have never been found.

    Investigators believe Toledo snapped when he found out his wife was having an affair.

    On Thursday Yessenia's former co-worker and lover, Kevin Dredden, testified he spoke to Yessenia the night she suddenly disappeared and something was wrong.

    He is the last person to speak with Suarez, saying she sounded like she was drugged over the phone.

    "She wasn't herself -- in how she was speaking. She sounded like she had been drugged," Dredden testified.

    Their 14-minute conversation was the last time anyone spoke to Yessenia Suarez.

    Less than 10 hours later, law enforcement was called to check on her at her home.

    Suarez wasn't at her home, but all of her stuff and her children's belongings were.

    The wellness check deputy who responded to Suarez's home took the stand, saying the house had a distinct and strange smell.

    "To me it smelled like a very strong cleaning agent isolated with the scent of Pine-Sol," said Volusia County Sheriff's Office Deputy Wayne Miller.

    On Friday, forensics experts are expected to testify and discuss what blood evidence they found inside the Suarez home.

    http://www.mynews13.com/content/news..._trial_co.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

  5. #65
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Luis Toledo trial Day 3: Teen neighbors take stand, describe woman screaming

    By Bailey Myers
    mynews13.com

    The neighbors of Luis Toledo testified Friday they heard a woman screaming the night his wife disappeared.

    Luis Toledo is accused of killing his wife, Yessenia Suarez, and her two children, Thalia and Michael Otto, in October 2013. Their bodies have never been found.

    Two teenagers who used to live near the Toledo/Suarez home testified Friday they heard noises coming from the direction of their home early on Oct. 23.

    "I was woken up around 12:30 a.m. and I could hear a woman yelling, 'Help me,'" one of the teenagers said. "I was woken up by it two or three times."

    Per our crime guidelines, News 13 is not identifying the two young witnesses.

    The teenagers claim they went back to sleep after the screams stopped, thinking it was just a few kids from the neighborhood shouting.

    The next morning they woke up to see their neighbor's home surrounded by police and found out that Suarez and her children, 8-year-old Michael and 9-year-old Thalia, were all missing.

    The teenagers testified they also came across a large knife near near their neighbor's home. They later turned that over to police and told the police about the screams when they got home from school.

    "I told them, I was wide awake and I heard someone screaming, 'Help me,'" another one of the teenagers testified.

    Forensic experts offered an explanation for the disappearance of the woman and children. They explained the blood spatter pattern found in various areas of the home show something "very impactful" happened there.

    "I observed the stains and I determined the stains were left there by using forceful impact," said former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Scene analyst and expert Leroy Parker.

    Jurors have been sent home for the weekend, and the trial resumes Monday.

    http://www.mynews13.com/content/news..._trial_co.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

  6. #66
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Luis Toledo trial: Prosecutors show evidence found in dumpster

    By Jason Kelly
    WFTV

    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Testimony continued Monday for a fourth day in the murder trial of a 35-year-old Deltona man who is accused of killing his wife and her two children.

    Luis Toledo is accused of killing Yessenia Suarez, 28, and her children, Thalia Otto, 9, and Michael Otto, 8, who disappeared from their Deltona home in October 2013 and were never found.

    Investigators said Toledo confessed to killing Suarez but denied killing her children. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the deaths of the children.

    Tyshawn Jackson, who was 21 at the time, was Toledo's neighbor and friend. The two went to barber school together and would often carpool.

    Jackson testified Monday about Oct. 23, 2013, the day of Suarez's disappearance. He said Toledo knocked on his bedroom window early in the morning, asking him to drop off Suarez's car at a Publix parking lot in Seminole County.

    Jackson said he saw Toledo wiping down the car down and they left in Toledo's car to drop off cleaning products and trunk lining from Suarez's car at an apartment complex dumpster.

    Toledo admitted to killing his Suarez in self-defense, but he claimed Jackson killed the children. Jackson denied that Monday.

    Jackson said that while they were driving home from dropping off the car, Toledo told Jackson he "snapped."

    Toledo's brother testified Monday that Toledo visited his home early in the morning and said that Suarez was cheating on him.

    Jackson broke down crying. Said he learned Toledo blamed him for deaths of children. He said he had nothing to do with deaths.

    On Friday, jurors heard from two neighbors, who are sisters. One woman, who was 13 years old in 2003, said she heard a woman yelling for help around midnight on Oct. 23 at Toledo's home.

    The woman testified that she found a large knife while walking home from school the next day.

    Prosecutors believe the knife belongs to Toledo and that he tossed it from his car while police officers were following him.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/local/luis-...ster/625409190

  7. #67
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Expert in Luis Toledo Deltona triple-murder trial testifies DNA in blood matched girl’s

    By Frank Fernandez
    Daytona Beach News-Journal

    ST. AUGUSTINE — The DNA of 9-year-old Thalia Otto was found in the blood on a closet door, the master bathroom, on the trunk mat of her mother’s car and on a black boot investigators say belongs to Luis Toledo, a DNA expert testified on Tuesday.

    Prosecutors also showed jurors pictures of items fished out of a dumpster behind a Petco store near the Seminole Towne Center Mall in Sanford. At the bottom of the trash receptacles, investigators found stuffed animals and a vacuum cleaner.

    Toledo, 35, is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of his 28-year-old wife, Yessenia Suarez and two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her two children: 9-year-old Thalia Otto and 8-year-old Michael Otto. If convicted of killing either of the children, Toledo could face the death penalty.

    The mother and children were reported missing Oct. 23, 2013, from their home at 317 Covent Gardens Place in Deltona. Their bodies have not been found.

    A bailiff held the plastic bag full of pink and white stuffed animals before the jury at the Richard O. Watson Judicial Center where Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano is presiding over the trial. It was moved to St. Augustine due to the extensive publicity the case has received in Volusia County.

    Investigators searched the dumpster after interviewing Toledo. They also found a black cape like one people wear when they get their hair cut. Toledo was studying to be a barber until shortly before his arrest.

    Anthony Gorgone, a DNA expert from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, was questioned Tuesday by prosecutor Mark Johnson.

    Gorgone testified that all four swabs of material tested on the master closet at Toledo’s house tested positive for blood. Three of those swabs were a match to the DNA profile of Thalia Otto.

    Gorgone then said 13 swabs taken from different spots in the master bathroom tested positive for blood. Gorgone said he was able to match DNA in 10 of those swabs to Thalia Otto. He got a partial match to the girl in three additional spots.

    Investigators also found two boots they say belong to Toledo inside another dumpster behind the Lake Jennie apartments in Seminole County. Investigators also found the trunk mat to Suarez’s Honda Accord inside the dumpster.

    Gorgone said he found Thalia’s blood on the left boot, obtaining a match to her DNA. Gorgone said he also matched DNA found in blood on the trunk mat to Thalia.

    Gorgone said he did not find any blood on the vacuum cleaner. He said he did smell an odor like a cleaning agent in water found inside the vacuum’s canister.

    He said bleach or some other cleaning agent would destroy DNA. A deputy also testified earlier that the house had a strong smell of a cleaning product.

    One of Toledo’s defense attorneys, Michael Nappi, questioned Gorgone, reciting during cross examinations the swabs that tested negative for blood, like a swab of a drain trap in a sink.

    Gorgone also testified he did not find blood on a menacing-looking knife that belonged to Toledo. He also said he could not match the DNA found on the knife to anyone.

    Volusia Sheriff’s Office investigator Bryan Ford also testified, saying that after Oct. 23, 2013, there had been no reports or anything to show that the mother and children were alive somewhere. Ford said there were no withdrawals from Suarez’s bank account.

    He said the mother and children were entered as missing in national computers but nothing has signaled their existence, such as an attempt to get a passport.

    The judge sent the jury home for the day in the late afternoon, but court remained in session. Another of Toledo’s defense attorneys, Jeff Deen, argued that the state had proven a death but they had not proven a murder and that Toledo’s statements to police should not be played for the jury.

    “We go from having a well-kept house to it being a murder scene because it smelled like Pinesol. That’s not evidence of anything,” Deen said.

    But Johnson argued that even though the bodies of the mother and children have not been found the state had presented enough evidence that they had been murdered.

    “I don’t even think this is a close call. I think the evidence is overwhelming,” Johnson said.

    Zambrano ruled Toledo’s statements can be played for the jury. In one of those statements Toledo admits to karate chopping his wife in the throat and killing her during an angry confrontation. Suarez intended to divorce Toledo, and he had confronted her at her office the day before about an affair she was having with a co-worker.

    Prosecutors will begin playing those statements for jurors on Wednesday.

    http://www.news-journalonline.com/ne...-matched-girls
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

  8. #68
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    Luis Toledo trial: Judge sends jurors home early after dispute over interview

    By Jason Kelly
    WFTV News

    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A judge sent jurors home early Wednesday in the murder trial of a 35-year-old Deltona man who is accused of killing his wife and his two stepchildren.

    Investigators said Luis Toledo killed Yessenia Suarez, 28, and her children, Thalia Otto, 9, and Michael Otto, 8, who disappeared from their Deltona home in October 2013 and were never found.

    Investigators said Toledo confessed to killing Suarez, but he denied killing her children. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the deaths of the children.

    Attorneys didn't like that Toledo used the word lesbian to describe one of Suarez's cousins because they felt it could elicit juror bias against Toledo.

    Prosecutors told the judge that they reviewed the interview with defense attorneys and redacted portions they both agreed were objectionable.

    "I don't recall agreeing to anything about a cousin who is a lesbian," Prosecutor Ryan Will said. "I just don't recall agreeing to that."

    Jurors will continue to listen to an hourslong recorded interview Thursday morning.

    They said Toledo killed his wife and his stepchildren after learning that Suarez was having an affair and sought a divorce.

    Prosecutors played a recording of investigators interviewing Toledo about his wife's disappearance, but defense attorneys objected six minutes into it.

    The judge ordered jurors to leave the courtroom for more than an hour so defense attorneys could read a transcript of the interview. He ultimately sent them home for the day.

    Anthony Gorgone, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement DNA expert, testified Tuesday that blood found in a closet and in the master bathroom of Toledo's home matched the DNA profile of Thalia.

    Defense attorneys said Tuesday that prosecutors have evidence of a death but not evidence proving Toledo killed anyone or that the crime was premeditated.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/local/luis-...sday/626394103
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

  9. #69
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    Luis Toledo trial: 'She died looking at me,' Toledo tells investigators

    By Jason Kelly
    WFTV Orlando News

    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The trial of a 35-year-old Deltona man who is accused of killing his wife and his two stepchildren continued Thursday.

    Investigators said Luis Toledo killed Yessenia Suarez, 28, and her children, Thalia Otto, 9, and Michael Otto, 8, who disappeared from their Deltona home in October 2013 and were never found.

    Deputies said Toledo confessed to killing Suarez, but he denied killing her children. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the deaths of the children.

    Prosecutors said Toledo killed his wife and his stepchildren after learning that Suarez was having an affair and sought a divorce.

    A recording of detectives interviewing Toledo about his wife's disappearance was played for jurors Thursday.

    The interview was done on Oct. 23, 2013, the day Suarez's mother requested deputies to conduct a well-being check on her.

    In the recording, Toledo opened up about how his marriage was deteriorating. He explained to investigators how he installed a tracking app on Suarez's cellphone so he could read her text messages.

    Toledo said that he showed up to his wife's workplace Oct. 22 and confronted her and the coworker with whom she was having an affair. He said he was upset when they denied the affair.

    Toledo told investigators during the interview that he left home after he and Suarez got into an argument the evening before her disappearance.

    "You and Kevin can have each other," Toledo said in the recording. "I left. I drove to the cemetery for awhile."

    Toledo said that he would often visit the cemetery where his parents are buried to reflect. He said he returned home and slept in his car.

    Toledo said his wife and his stepchildren were gone when he went into the home. He told investigators that he was upset that she didn't awake him before leaving.

    At first he denied knowing what happened to the family, according to investigators. Toledo then broke down crying and confessed to killing his wife after she came after him and grabbed his back, investigators said. Toledo said he karate-chopped her in the throat.

    "She fell down on the floor, looking at me. She couldn't breathe. She's not breathing. She's not breathing. She died looking at me," Toledo said.

    Toledo told investigators his neighbor, Tyshawn Jackson, killed his stepchildren with an ax and buried them.

    "He had the kids in his hands. There was blood everywhere," Toledo said in the recording to investigators.

    Jackson has denied killing the children. He testified Monday that he helped Toledo move Suarez's car to a parking lot in Seminole County.

    Prosecutors on Wednesday played a portion of the recording, but defense attorneys objected six minutes into it.
    The judge sent jurors home early so defense attorneys could read a transcript of the interview.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/local/luis-...tors/626923588
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

  10. #70
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    Man accused of killing wife, children screams ‘Give me my family!' in police interview

    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The trial of accused killer Luis Toledo, 35, resumed in St. Augustine Monday.

    Toledo is accused of killing his wife and her two children in 2013 in a Deltona home. Their bodies have never been found.

    The jury watched a taped police interview where Toledo admitted to killing his wife Yessenia Suarez, 28. Toledo claims the killing was an accident.

    He denied killing her children, Thalia Otto, 9, and Michael Otto, 8.

    During the interview, investigators asked Toledo to take them through the events of that day again.

    Photos: Evidence in Luis Toledo case


    Toledo talked about how he and his neighbor, Tyshawn Jackson, walked in the house and planned to play video games.

    He told investigators that's when Suarez became angry and then attacked him. Investigators said she was hitting him in the face and his glasses.

    "I always told her that if a man does that to you, put your fingers in his eyes. I just hit her and she went back," Toledo told investigators.

    Toledo claimed that he reacted and struck her with a karate chop in the throat, and then saw the color leaving her body and her eyes getting wide before she died.

    Toledo told investigators he heard a noise in the bathroom, and as he walked that way, he saw Jackson kill the children.

    Toledo told investigators that Jackson killed the children with an ax.

    He told investigators Jackson was on probation and was afraid of going back to jail.

    Jackson has never been charged with any crimes connected to Suarez or her children.

    Jackson testified that he helped Toledo move Suarez's vehicle to a parking lot in Seminole County.

    Toledo said he kissed his wife goodbye several times, and that Jackson disposed of the bodies.

    Also during the interview, Toledo yelled out to Jackson, as if he was listening.

    “You son of a (expletive)! Give me my family!” Toledo said. “He's the only one who could tell you where they are at man."

    Investigators testified that there were a lot of inconsistencies in Toledo's story. For example, one minute Toledo blames Jackson, the next, he told investigators he'll never tell them where the bodies are located.

    Jurors also heard interrogation video where Toledo told police to take him back to his Deltona home where his family died and just kill him there. In another video, Toledo asked to use the restroom. Moments later, he broke a mirror in the bathroom and tried to kill himself with the shards of glass.

    If convicted of the children's deaths, Toledo could face the death penalty.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/local/luis-...tine/628681449
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

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