ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) – A Florida man faces a possible death sentence for killing his wife and her two children.
35-year-old Luis Toledo was found guilty Friday of two counts of first-degree murder and one count to second-degree murder. His sentencing phase begins Wednesday.
Authorities say 28-year-old Yessenia Suarez, 9-year-old Thalia Otto and 8-year-old Michael Otto went missing in October 2013, a day after Toledo confronted Suarez at work about an affair.
During the trial, jurors watched videos of detectives’ interviews with Toledo. He told investigators that he used a karate chop to hit his wife in the neck during a fit of anger.
“She stopped breathing, she stopped breathing. She died looking at me,” Toledo said in the interview. “I couldn’t help it. Please, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do it.”
Toledo told investigators that a neighbor, Tyshawn Jackson, was at his house playing video games. Toledo said that his neighbor killed the children with an ax to eliminate witnesses to his wife’s death.
“He hit them with an axe. I didn’t even know what side he hit them with. There was blood everywhere,” Toledo said in the video. “I saw my daughter take her last breath.”
Toledo said they put the bodies in the trunk of a car for Jackson to dispose of. Prosecutors had previously stated Jackson played no role in the actual murders.
Blood was found at the couple’s Deltona home, but no bodies have ever been found.
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