Man who stole ATM with excavator sentenced to 30 years

SENTENCING UPDATE: Man who stole ATM with excavator sentenced to 30 years

Jesus Sanchez Sanchez caused more than $120,000 in damage when he stole an excavator and used it to rip an ATM out of a Winter Haven bank.

Jesus Sanchez Sanchez

Sanchez Sanchez, 52, is a habitual felony offender and was sentenced to 30 years in prison Sept. 28.

He was found guilty May 5 of grand theft of $100,000 or more, burglary of a dwelling with over $1,000 in damage, grand theft with over $1,000 in damage and burglary of a conveyance.

Sanchez Sanchez stole the excavator and used it to rip the ATM out of the bank and place it in the bed of his truck. He and an accomplice then covered the mangled ATM with a tarp and drove on back roads in Winter Haven before being pulled over by law enforcement.

There was a 20-minute gap in the timeline where the defense claimed an accomplice dropped Sanchez Sanchez off to buy cigarettes and then used his truck to steal the ATM alone. But Assistant State Attorney Bonde Johnson – who tried the case alongside ASA Jennifer Van Der Burgh – told jurors that a bootprint found at the construction site where the excavator was stolen matched the boots Sanchez Sanchez was wearing at the time of the crime.

He also said a piece of the ATM that matched the stolen one was found in a neighborhood near the Winter Haven bank. After calculating how long it would take to drive the route Sanchez Sanchez and his accomplice took, there was only a 3½ minute gap

Not only would putting on a tarp most likely take two people, Johnson said, someone would need to drive the excavator while the other pulls the truck up to load the ATM into it and drive away. Johnson said that the crime would have been impossible without two people to execute it.

Davenport man sentenced to 30 years for sexual battery

SENTENCING UPDATE: Davenport man sentenced to 30 years for sexual battery

Even though she was highly emotional, Jon Moyer’s victim bravely took the stand at his sentencing hearing.

Jon Moyer

She told the judge she’s trying to move on but still can’t understand why Moyer chose to hurt her.

Moyer started molesting her at the age of 7 and continued for 10 years. He was convicted of sexual battery by a person with familial or custodial authority within 15 minutes of his trial.

Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Swenson asked the judge to sentence Moyer to the max. The judge granted her request at the August hearing and sentenced Moyer to the maximum of 30 years in prison.

On a controlled phone call with the victim that was played during trial, Moyer told her that the sexual experiences they shared were beautiful “even though it was on the wrong side of the fence.”

Moyer told the girl he never just went through the motions of the sexual acts.

“I love you,” he told her. “You felt me, what’s in my heart.”

When Moyer was questioned from the witness stand about whether he sexually abused the girl, he replied, “I did nothing wrong.”

Moyer did not say anything during his sentencing hearing.

Teen who beat, battered, burned man convicted of first-degree murder

JURY VERDICT: Teen who beat, battered, burned man convicted of first-degree murder

After sexually battering and brutally beating Robert Banks to death, Nathan Johnson took photos of his dead body to keep as trophies.

Nathan Johnson

He then discarded Banks’ body in the woods, doused it in gasoline and lit it on fire. Surveillance video then caught Johnson and his accomplices minutes later laughing and smiling while buying refreshments at a nearby convenience store.

Jurors deliberated for nearly three hours Aug. 17 before finding Johnson guilty of first-degree murder, sexual battery, abuse of a dead human body and tampering with physical evidence.

A first-degree murder conviction generally carries a mandatory life sentence, but because Johnson was 16 when he committed the crime, a separate sentencing hearing will be held to determine the ultimate sentence, which could still be life in prison but with a review of his sentence after 25 years. A status conference has been set for Sept. 14, where a sentencing date may be scheduled.

In opening statements, Assistant State Attorney Mark Levine walked jurors through the horrific events that took place on Jan. 14, 2016.

Johnson and three other co-defendants suspected Banks had raped Johnson’s mother, so they lured him over with the intent to beat him up.

“They were lying in wait inside the house,” Levine said. “When confronted about the baseless accusation of the sexual battery of their mother, Banks said he absolutely did not touch her.”

But Johnson and his co-defendants didn’t like that answer. They charged Banks, who tried to run to safety, but they slammed the door in his face and began to beat him up.

Levine told jurors Johnson and his friends would run across the room to kick him as hard as they could in the face and in the head – they shattered his face in the process. A co-defendant then grabbed a pipe and split his head open.

“They destroyed this man,” Levine said.

Close to the last minutes of his life, Johnson grabbed a flashlight and sexually battered Banks with it while taunting him. He then helped his brother tighten an electrical cord around Banks’ neck.

“The defendant jumps on his (Banks’) back and was holding him down while kicking and punching, tightening the electrical cord, choking the life out of him,” Levine said. “Banks’ life was over, but the story and nightmare wasn’t.”

Johnson memorialized the murder by taking multiple cell phone photos of Banks’ beaten and battered body. He sent those photos to his mother.

After killing Banks and taking photos of him, Johnson called his father to tell him what they’d accomplished. His father came over to help them dispose of the body to keep them from getting caught.

They wrapped Banks with trash bags and a blanket, loaded him into a jeep and drove to Sumter County. Banks’ body was dumped into the woods and set on fire.

But Levine said their trip to Sumter County didn’t end there. Johnson and his co-defendants went to Circle K to buy drinks, and they were caught on the surveillance video.

Assistant State Attorney Mark Levine addresses jurors during closing arguments Aug. 17, just before Johnson was found guilty of first-degree murder. Because Johnson was 16 when he committed the crime, a separate sentencing hearing will be held to determine the ultimate sentence, which could still be life in prison but with a review of his sentence after 25 years.

“This man and his cohorts didn’t have a care in the world,” Levine told jurors. “They were laughing and smiling.”
When they returned to Polk County, Johnson and his co-defendants discarded the pipe and burned the mattress Banks’ body was laid on and clothes he was wearing.

The next day, Banks’ body was spotted by a man driving his Jeep on trails in the woods. Law enforcement was called, and an investigation began, leading back to Johnson.

At first, Levine said, Johnson kept denying his involvement. But he eventually confessed to luring Banks, beating him and taking the “trophy” photos of the aftermath.

The defense attorney didn’t contest the fact that Banks’ death was horrific, but he did claim there was not enough evidence to prove it was premeditated. He said there was no way to show Johnson spearheaded the entire incident or had intent to kill Banks.

The best the evidence shows, the defense argued, was that Johnson intended to fight Banks –– not to murder him.

Levine said Johnson’s actions proved otherwise. Once the plan was in motion, Johnson made conscious decisions and choices that led to one conclusion: Banks would be beaten until he was dead.

But not only was Banks beaten, he was sexually battered.

“The defendant was the one who took joy and twisted excitement in sexually battering him, and he memorialized it in taking a picture of it,” Levine said in his closing arguments. “He (Johnson) said and did things that make his intent explicitly clear.”

“These are conscious choices this man made to brutally beat, sexually batter, burn and discard another human being. He deserves to be held accountable for his actions,” Levine said.

Haines City man convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing his wife to death

JURY VERDICT: Haines City man convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing his wife to death

Tommy Lee Jones raised a 12-inch knife above his head, snuck up behind his wife and stabbed her with it.

Tommy Jones, 53, of Haines City.

He wrestled 57-year-old Juanita Jones to the ground, stabbing her nine times. He stabbed her in the shoulder arm and head – leaving the tip of the knife embedded in her skull – but the fatal blow was the 4-inch stab wound he left in her heart.

A jury found Jones guilty August 16 of first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

He was sentenced to life in prison for both first-degree murder and attempted second-degree. He also received 15 years for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Assistant State Attorney Kristie Ducharme walked the jury through the details of the brutal attack on July 21, 2013. Juanita Jones was preparing Sunday dinner just after midnight so it would be ready when they got home from church the next day.

Floyd Ohara, one of Juanita’s sons, was in the living room and heard the knife drawer open in the kitchen. Arius Mitchell, his girlfriend, heard a strange noise and turned around to see Tommy standing behind his wife with his arm raised and a knife in his hand.

Mitchell saw blood spray across the kitchen as they both watched Jones stab his wife.

Juanita Jones tried to get away from her husband as he attacked her, but she slipped on her blood and Jones continued to shove the knife into her.

Ohara realized it was too late to save his mother, so he ran for the door. Tommy Jones chased after him, stabbed him in the arm and locked the door.

In order to wake his other brothers, Ohara started yelling and beating on the walls.

“Tommy stabbed Momma,” he screamed.

Assistant State Attorney Kristie Ducharme addresses jurors during closing
statements August 16. Jones was found guilty and sentenced to life.

Joaquin Jackson heard his brother’s cries for help and opened his door to see his mother’s feet on the ground in the hallway. He looked up to see Tommy Jones with a knife in his hand – Jackson charged him.

Ohara and Jackson fought with Tommy until they were able to get the knife away and keep him restrained. But during the struggle, Tommy kept slashing at them with the knife, and he stabbed Jackson in the head.

Police arrived to detain Jones, and Ohara and Jackson were transferred to the hospital to be treated. Officers who handcuffed Jones noticed that the only injuries he had were lacerations on the inside of his hands, which is a sign that he was the one holding the knife during the murder.

The defense argued that those wounds were from Jones attempting to defend himself. Jones’ attorney told jurors that alcohol was consumed by both Juanita and Tommy, and that Tommy’s actions were a response to her charging him with the knife.

But Ducharme reminded the jury that at least two people saw Tommy stab Juanita from behind.

“(Ohara) saw Tommy stabbing his mother,” Ducharme said.

In addition to the eyewitness accounts, Jones was the only one who didn’t have wounds consistent with being attacked with a knife. The lacerations on the inside of his hands are consistent with someone whose hand slipped while forcefully using a knife.

The defense also claimed there wasn’t enough testimony or evidence to prove Jones intended to hurt his wife.

Ducharme told jurors the best way to determine his intentions is to look at his actions: Jones snuck up to his wife with a 12-inch knife and stabbed her while her back was turned. He repeatedly stabbed her after she began to fight back, stopping only when she was dead.

“A person does not stab another human being nine times unless they intended to kill that person,” Ducharme said. “He didn’t stab her in her arm or leg but in areas of her body more susceptible to injury. … She was his intended target. That’s what makes her death premeditated.”