NATIONAL NEWS

Man admits to being gunman who carjacked woman in case involving drugs and money, affidavit says

Apr 25, 2024, 3:16 PM | Updated: 6:18 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A man questioned about his role earlier this month in the fatal carjacking of a woman in central Florida told investigators that he was paid to kidnap her and deliver her to someone, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Jordanish Torres-Garcia told investigators that he was the masked man in a hoodie seen in a video jumping out of a vehicle at a traffic light in suburban Orlando and pointing a semi-automatic rifle at Katherine Altagracia Guerrero De Aguasvivas, who was stopped in front of his vehicle at the stoplight, according to an affidavit filed Thursday by an FBI agent in federal court in Orlando.

Garcia said the weapon was unloaded and had been given to him a half hour before the carjacking two weeks ago. Garcia jumped into the South Florida woman’s vehicle, which made a U-turn and drove away. Garcia told investigators he was paid $1,500 to deliver her to an individual who wasn’t identified in the affidavit.

Hours after the carjacking, the 31-year-old woman’s body was found inside her burned-out vehicle in another Orlando-area county. She had been shot multiple times, according to the affidavit.

The last person she spoke with by a video call before her murder was Giovany Joel Crespo Hernandez, to whom authorities believe she was delivering money, Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said at a news conference on Tuesday.

“This case is about drugs and money,” Lemma said.

Hernandez has been taken into custody on unrelated drug charges.

Garcia was questioned last week following his arrest on a federal warrant for violation of probation from a weapons charge in Puerto Rico. He was being held Thursday in the Seminole County Jail in Florida, with the FBI agent’s affidavit supporting a charge of carjacking resulting in death.

Court documents show his public defender asked to be removed from the case because of a conflict of interest. His new court-appointed attorney, Roger Weeden, said in an email late Thursday that, without an indictment yet, there were no charges with which to plea.

“Going forward, the initial plea after indictment is always ‘not guilty,’ which freezes the case, allows for discovery, defense investigation and pre-resolution negotiations,” Weeden said.

The driver of the car Garcia jumped out of, Kevin Ocasio Justiniano, was taken into custody earlier this week in Puerto Rico on unrelated drug- trafficking and weapons charges, authorities said.

___

This story has been corrected to show the FBI agent’s affidavit supports charging Garcia with carjacking resulting in death, instead of Garcia being held on a charge of carjacking resulting in death.

National News

A second-floor balcony at the Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Florida, on Wednesday, July 17, ...

Associated Press

Ernest Hemingway fans celebrate the author’s 125th birthday in his beloved Key West

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Ernest Hemingway spent the 1930s in Key West, Florida, and more than six decades after his death, fans, scholars and relatives continue to congregate on the island city to celebrate the author’s award-winning novels and adventure-filled life. Hemingway Days started in 1981 with a short-story competition and a look-alike contest. […]

12 minutes ago

Associated Press

Salt Lake City wildfire prompts mandatory evacuations as more than 100 firefighters fight blaze

Salt Lake City officials have ordered residents to evacuate some areas ahead of a wildfire as more than 100 firefighters work to contain the blaze. Helicopters and airplanes were dropping buckets over the flames Saturday as ground crews tried to contain the fire on Ensign Peak. The first fire crew was dispatched around 4:30 p.m. […]

30 minutes ago

Democratic Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi speaks at the North Carolina Democratic Unity Dinner fundra...

Associated Press

Pelosi delivers speech to NC Democrats with notable absence — Biden’s future as nominee

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In a state expected to help decide the presidency, House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi did little to quell speculation on President Joe Biden’s path forward as the Democratic nominee to a room full of North Carolina Democrats on Saturday. Pelosi addressed more than 900 people at the North Carolina Democratic Party […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

89-year-old comedian recovering after she was randomly punched on New York street

NEW YORK (AP) — An 89-year-old comedian is recovering after being randomly punched and knocked to the ground while waiting to cross a street in New York earlier this month. D’yan Forest said she had just stopped at a coffee shop and was heading to a swimming pool when someone came up to her from […]

4 hours ago

The Butler Farm Show, site of a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate former Preside...

Associated Press

Gunman in Trump rally attack flew drone over rally site in advance of event, official says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The gunman in the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump is believed to have flown a drone around the Pennsylvania rally site ahead of time in an apparent attempt to scope out the site before the event, a law enforcement official said Saturday. The drone has been recovered by the FBI, […]

8 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Melania Trump during the final ...

Associated Press

Trump campaign releases letter on his injury, treatment after last week’s assassination attempt

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign released an update on the former president’s health Saturday, one week after he survived an attempted assassination at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. The memo, from Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, who served as Trump’s White House physician, offers new details on the nature of the GOP nominee’s injuries […]

8 hours ago

Man admits to being gunman who carjacked woman in case involving drugs and money, affidavit says