Death sentences for men who murdered family - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Death sentences for men who murdered family

By Chuck Weber email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)-A federal jury decides on death sentences for two men who murdered an entire family. Minutes after the verdicts were announced, one of the defendants exploded in court.

Jurors returned their death penalty verdicts for Daniel Troya and Ricardo Sanchez Tuesday afternoon at the federal courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach. The panel deliberated the sentences for almost four days.

The same jury had convicted Troya and Sanchez in the execution-style killings of the Escobedo family in 2006. The family's bodies were found along the Turnpike in St. Lucie County.

The jury handed down the death sentences, specifically for the deaths of Escobedo children, Luis Julian and Luis Damian, who were just four- and three-years old. Jurors decided on life sentences for the murders of the parents, Jose Luis and Jessica.

After jurors left the courtroom, an angry Troya threw a water bottle across the room toward the prosecutors' table. Marshals immediately moved in and removed Troya.

Afterward one of Troya's lawyers, James Eisenberg, said, "You know Mr. Troya was upset. He'd been sitting there for three months. He didn't appreciate the way some of the prosecutors had spoken about him and acted. He reacted in a manner that was not appropriate. But that was just an outburst."

The families of both defendants left the courthouse without commenting. Lawyers for both men say they will appeal.

The mothers of Jose Luis and Jessica Escobedo also left, saying nothing. But a detective who worked the case said they got the closure they wanted for their families. Detective Fred Wilson of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office explained, "I think they feel quite satisfied with the results of the jury verdict. They're going home now (to Texas) with some weight lifted off their hearts."

Two other defendants in the same case, convicted on related drug and weapons charges, will be sentenced in May. Danny Varela, who prosecutors say headed the drug operation, and Liana Lopez, both face life sentences.

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