Teenage girl suspected in father’s murder appears in court
Eveline Gainza, the 17-year-old girl whose boyfriend is accused of murdering her father in West Kendall, was no mere accessory to the crime, authorities say.
Miami-Dade prosecutors have charged Gainza as an adult with second-degree murder for the Sept. 24 shooting of Gainza, whose decomposing body was discovered in his West Kendall townhouse late last month.
She appeared in Miami-Dade circuit court Tuesday morning, pleading not guilty. A judge on Wednesday will decide if she can post bond while awaiting trial. Her boyfriend, 18-year-old Demar Turruellas, is also charged with second-degree murder.
Initially, Miami-Dade police arrested Gainza on a charge of accessory after the fact. Detectives said she had admitted to helping clean up the crime scene.
Investigators now believe both were in on the plot to kill her father. But exactly who fired the gun remains unclear — Eveline and Turruellas each pointed the finger at each other when confronted by police.
Police said Turruellas and Eveline had recently arrived from Lehigh Acres and were staying with her mother in West Miami-Dade.
On Sept. 24, hours before the shooting, Turruellas got angry and fired a gun inside the house, hitting a wall. Later, Eveline’s father drove to her mother’s home, picked up his daughter and brought her back to his house at 16141 SW 141st Ave., in the Hammocks. At some point that same night, Evelio Gainza was shot to death with a .40-caliber handgun. The motive for the murder remains a mystery, although an arrest report suggests that the slain man did not approve of Turruellas.
Exactly how the murder happened remains unclear but police say the two eventually dragged Evelio Gainza’s body into a second-story bathroom and covered it up with towels, trying to clean up the blood stains with bleach and paper towels. They also tried to retrieve the casings. Eveline later told a neighbor that her father has traveled to Cuba.
Three days later, on Sept. 27, officers were asked by an unidentified person to conduct a “welfare check” on Evelio Ganza and they discovered the corpse hidden in the upstairs bathroom. Officers soon found Eveline and Turrueallas driving in her father’s Mercedes.