A husband, his cousin and a wife are behind bars in Tampa, Fla. for allegedly colluding to kill his wife and an ex-boyfriend in an elaborate frame-up, state authorities say.
Cornelio Negrete Jr., 28, is the arrested husband. He was taken into custody Tuesday, nearly a month after his wife and mother-of-three, 22-year-old Erica Negrete, was shot dead outside a home they shared on July 18.
It turns out that Cornelio, who claimed to have been shot that day but survived, was the one who allegedly ordered the murder by helping to kill his wife while trying to kill the ex-boyfriend Frame his cousin’s girlfriend in the crime, police say.
That plan almost came to fruition, with Cornelio initially avoiding blame and telling local media how heartbroken he was at losing his partner. He said WTSP 10 He wasn’t sure who the shooter was, but even if he did, he’d never be entirely happy again without Erica.
“I will not be 100 percent happy if they are behind bars because they took my wife and she is irreplaceable, but I will know that they cannot do that to anyone,” Cornelio told the broadcaster of all places at his wife’s funeral.
A tribute video released along with an obituary included numerous photos of Cornelio, Erica and their three children.
Police now claim Cornelio knew who was pulling the trigger all along: 27-year-old Daniel Negrete, his cousin, who was assisted by his girlfriend, 20-year-old Fatima Garcia Avila. The duo were arrested last week for their role in the hit, court documents show.
Cornelio apparently intended to kill Erica and then frame the murder of Avila’s ex-boyfriend Antonio Cuellar-Enriquez Tampa Bay Times reports, citing witness testimony.
Garcia reportedly said that when Erica died, she “had to use someone to take the fall,” “so who else better than my ex?”
An affidavit on the arrest of Cornelio was not available on Wednesday afternoon. However, court documents for his cousin and girlfriend detailed the murders of Erica and Cuellar-Enriquez.
The affidavit states that Cornelio and Erica spent their final night together at a nearby chili before returning to their home in Dover, a Tampa suburb. Their relationship had been strained recently, the affidavit said, after Cornelio learned Erica had cheated on him with two men from her work.
Later that night, as Erica left her home to go to her mother’s house on July 18, the 22-year-old was mugged and shot as she walked outside. Cornelio told investigators he heard gunshots and a scream, so he ran outside to check on his wife, only to find that she had collapsed on the ground, motionless.
Before his death, Cornelio claims his wife told him to get his gun, he told investigators. On his return, however, he was “hit” in the head by something and briefly passed out. When he regained consciousness, he said he saw his wife’s attacker drive away in his truck as she lay dead. He then called 911, court documents say.
That truck, a Chevrolet Avalanche, was found ablaze about 8 miles away later that night. Cornelio was treated for the alleged head injury, but a CT scan showed no damage and his head showed no apparent trauma, the affidavit said.
A week after the investigation, detectives still hadn’t found a killer. The burned truck provided no evidence and MPs were unable to trace shell casings to a suspect, the affidavit said, so they called the public for information.
What seemed like a breakthrough came a week later, on July 26, when Erica’s father received a text message in Spanish from a number linked to Cuellar-Enriquez, Avila’s ex-boyfriend who used to work for her father’s tire company was standing.
The lyrics to “Antonio” apologized to the grieving father for what “they did” and that his conscience was killing him, the affidavit said.
The father, Gabriel Aviles, immediately turned the text over to law enforcement for investigation. But, as police later determined, it wasn’t Cuellar-Enriquez who sent the time-stamped texts because he couldn’t have it. He was murdered five hours before the first message was sent on July 25.
The detectives now had two suspected murders ahead of them, and their eyes turned to Daniel and Avila.
After going through Cuellar-Enriquez’s text history, police found texts showing that Avila contacted Cuellar-Enriquez and asked him to spend the night with her. When the unsuspecting Cuellar-Enriquez gave in, the affidavit states, Avila tried to slip him headache pills that she hoped would kill him.
However, the pills failed to knock out or kill Cuellar-Enriquez, so Avila called her friend for help. When Daniel arrived, he confronted Cuellar-Enriquez and shot him dead after a “fight,” the affidavit said.
With Cuellar-Enriquez dead, the affidavit states that the couple used his cellphone to text Erica’s father in an attempt to implicate him in Erica’s murder.
Investigators didn’t detail exactly what prompted them to discover the trio’s allegedly sophisticated conspiracy, but said they identified multiple “violations” by Avila and Daniel in the course of an investigation and arrested the couple on August 2. Cornelio was arrested Tuesday for his role in the murders.
Cornelio faces charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and false reporting to law enforcement.
Both Avila and Daniel are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. All three are being held without bail while awaiting trial.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/cops-arrest-cornelio-negrete-jr-who-allegedly-ordered-a-hit-on-his-wife-erica?source=articles&via=rss Police officers arrest Cornelio Negrete Jr., who allegedly ordered a beating on his wife Erica