Second day of deliberations yields no verdict in family's murders - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Second day of deliberations yields no verdict in family's murders

By Chuck Weber email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)-A federal jury deliberated a second day Tuesday without reaching a verdict in the case surrounding the murders of an entire family along the Florida Turnpike.

The case took more than a month to put on at the federal courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach. Four people are on trial, altogether facing 16 charges. Jurors have a lot to sort out.

Jose Luis "Lou" Escobedo, his wife Yessica, and their two young sons, Luis Damian and Luis Julian, were killed execution-style. Their bodies were found along the Turnpike in St. Lucie County in October 2006. Prosecutors say the father "Lou" was also involved in the drug trade.

The government says Daniel Troya and Ricardo Sanchez killed the family members, to erase a drug debt and steal the drugs the family had with them. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Troya and Sanchez. Danny Varela is accused of heading the drug operation and girlfriend Liana Lopez is charged for her role in the outfit.

Tuesday jurors asked to see two guns that were part of the evidence, related to weapons charges against some of the accused. The jury also asked the court about whether they should deliberate this Friday. (Since it began, the trial has not been in session on Fridays.) The question is seen as a sign jurors may expect lengthy deliberations.

Key evidence in the case are marks on bullets found at the murder scene. They match bullets found at the West Palm Beach home shared by the four accused. Defense lawyers, though, reminded jurors no one testified to actually witnessing the murders.

Deliberations resume Wednesday.

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