Court rejects appeal in 2006 St. Lucie County turnpike slayings


News Service of Florida

A federal appeals court Wednesday rejected the arguments of two men sentenced to death after the high-profile slayings of a couple and two children in 2006 along Florida’s Turnpike in St. Lucie County.

Daniel Troya and Ricardo Sanchez Jr. were found guilty in the drug-related murders of Jose Luis Escobedo, his wife, Yessica, and their children, 3-year-old Luis Damian Escobedo and 4-year-old Luis Julian Escobedo.

Troya and Sanchez raised a number of arguments in an appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, including a challenge to evidence that was admitted in the case about uncharged acts of misconduct involving firearms and drug trafficking.

But a three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled against the men and, in one part, described the grisly nature of the murders.

“In this gruesome quadruple homicide, appellants [Troya and Sanchez] stalked the Escobedo family on a Florida highway for nearly nine hours, personally spoke to them, and then ruthlessly murdered them one-by-one, execution style,” the ruling said.

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