WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Two brothers are facing life sentences for torturing a murdering a man they suspected of stealing drug money.
Separate Palm Beach County juries found John Lee Morales-Gonzales and Jose Ramon Ramirez guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder and other charges.
Witnesses testified that the brothers abducted 37-year-old Jose Gonzalez and his girlfriend in 2008 and brought them to a Lake Worth home. They believed Gonzalez stole $15,000 from them.
Co-defendant Pedro Santiago-Vega testified that he watched the brothers torture and kill Gonzalez. The Palm Beach Post reports that Santiago-Vega's sentence was capped at 15 years in exchange for his testimony. He said he buried the body, which was found in early 2009 and identified with dental records.
Defense attorneys told jurors that large-scale heroin dealers out of Miami were the ones who killed Gonzalez.