DELAND, Fla. -- Three people were arrested Wednesday for the execution-style death of a Volusia County veteran on Veterans Day 2017. Investigators say the death was meant to silence him from testifying in a May 2017 road rage case.
- Carlos Cruz-Echevarria was found dead in November 2017
- Deputies think he was killed to stop him from testifying in a road rage case
- Deputies: Kelsey McFoley had Benjamin Bascom kill Cruz-Echevarria
- RELATED: Man found shot near vehicle on Veterans Day was Army vet, deputies say
Benjamin Bascom, 24, Kelsey McFoley, 28 and Melissa Rios Roque, 21, were charged with first-degree murder in the death of Carlos Cruz-Echevarria, a 60-year-old Army veteran, in November 2017.
Investigators say Cruz-Echevarria found dead near a disabled car in Deltona on Nov. 11, 2017. They initially thought he was trying to help move the disabled vehicle when he was killed for his own truck, which was found burned in Orange County.
"I've been a cop for 32 years, and this is one of the most heinous, despicable, cowardly acts that I've ever witnessed,'' Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said during a news conference Thursday. "You've got a pack of animals, (who) once again illustrate that human life is cheap on the street. A road rage incident where a man does what he's supposed to do, notify the police (and) cooperate with the system. His thanks is to wind up with multiple bullets in his head."
But the Volusia County Sheriff's Office says phone record data from the area of the shooting and where the truck was found in Orange County led them to Benjamin Bascom and other persons of interest.
They say DNA evidence linked Bascom to the disabled vehicle in Deltona. Deputies think Bascom pulled the trigger on the orders of Kelsey McFoley, who was on the phone with Bascom that day. They say McFoley also told his plans to girlfriend Melissa Rios Roque, including plans to pick up Bascom after the shooting.
Deputies think McFoley wanted Cruz-Echevarria dead because he was going to testify against McFoley in a May 2017 road rage case. Deputies say McFoley pointed a gun at Cruz-Echevarria after he honked at McFoley for remaining stopped at a green light.
Deputies say McFoley's criminal history includes 29 felony charges and one conviction.
The Sheriff's Office said Bascom was caught Wednesday by Orlando Police as he tried to catch a plane to Texas at Orlando International Airport.
McFoley was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Orlando. Rios Roque was arrested by Volusia County deputies.