Police say that a Florida woman was accused of using her Covid-19 relief loan money to hire a hitman to murder another woman.
Jasmine Martinez, the suspect, is currently in jail, along with Romiel Robinson and Javon Carter, who were identified as Romiel Robinson and Javon Carter by police. All are being held on charges related the the May 3rd murder of Le'Shonte Jones as well as the attempted murder of Jones' 3-year old daughter who was also injured.
Martinez is alleged have plotted to kill Jones. Robinson is alleged of enlisting Carter in the execution, NBC Miami reported citing an arrest warrant. Martinez is accused of having taken out about $10,000 from a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan that she was granted before the shooting. According to the warrant, Martinez is accused of using the money to pay Carter.
The Miami Herald reports that Martinez was granted the $15,000 loan, which is available to small-business owners who are struggling due to the pandemic. It was for a single-employment beauty shop. It is not known if Martinez actually owned the salon.
Investigators claimed that Martinez knew the victim. He was arrested in 2018 and charged with engaging in a physical altercation. According to the warrant, Jones was called to testify against Martinez in 2020.
Jones told the court that Jones was harassed and held at gunpoint by two men. According to the warrant, Martinez's ex-boyfriend Kelly Nelson was identified later.
Nelson is currently in prison for the alleged robbery.
According to the warrant, police investigating Jones' murder discovered jail records of calls between Martinez and Nelson. According to the warrant, Martinez is accused of telling Nelson on February 11, 2021 that she was ready to kill Jones and that Jones must "die."
Authorities say that Robinson, Martinez's boyfriend of the day, reached out to Carter the next day.
Jones said that she was being harassed and was offered money to not testify against Nelson. She was also told that Martinez wanted Nelson to come home to take care of their children. According to the warrant, Jones was informed by Martinez that Martinez was requesting Nelson's testimony. According to the warrant, Jones also testified against Martinez in April for witness tampering.
Investigators claimed that Robinson called Carter shortly after she testified to obtain a price for the murder.
According to the investigation, Carter was alleged to have gone to Jones' apartment on April 30, and May 1, to perform surveillance. Carter is accused of shooting her several times as she walked home from school with her daughter on May 3.
In a Facebook Post, Miami-Dade police stated that Jones, 24, and her daughter were seen walking towards her apartment in security video. Police said that Jones, a Transportation Security Administration Officer at Miami International Airport was declared dead on the spot and that her daughter was flown to a local hospital.
According to police, the video also showed Carter shooting at Jones and her daughter using a handgun.
Online records indicate that all three suspects were charged in the first-degree murder of Jones as well as attempted murder of Jones' child. Robinson and Martinez were also accused of conspiring to commit murder. Martinez and Carter attorneys did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Jonathan Jordan, Robinson's lawyer, stated that they entered a plea agreement of not guilty.
"Mr. Robinson, who is having his own legal issues and has been in custody for some time on unrelated matters, has no right to be involved in these allegations. Sometimes, things don't always turn out as expected. Jordan stated that he believes this to be true and he looks forward to reviewing the evidence.
According to The Herald, Nelson is still being tried for armed robbery.
Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney, stated in a statement that Jones' murder was "senseless." "
Dan Ronan, TSA security director at Miami International Airport said that "Last May, one of our officers was brutally murdered as she returned from the airport. Our young, vibrant officer was tragically taken from her family. We are still grieving. We are thankful to the Miami-Dade Police Department's tireless efforts to bring Le'Shonte's murderers to justice.