One of the suspects accused of killing a man who answered an online ad for an escort service has been found guilty. On Monday, a judge found 27-year-old Jefty Joseph guilty for the murder and kidnap of Gustavo Cabral in 2013.
According to the report, Cabral answered an ad on Backpage.com to meet a woman named Koral Ben Shimon at a motel 8 in Pompano Beach for sex, however, when Cabral arrived at the motel, he was met by Shimon, her pimp and boyfriend, Ilmart Christophe and Joseph.
Shimon, who served as a star witness to the crime told prosecutors that the whole thing was a set up to rob Cabral and that the two men kidnapped Cabral by forcing him into his own vehicle and took him around to several different ATMs to withdraw money before taking him to a vacant home in Lake Worth where they shot and killed him.
Shimon however, said that she was not present for Cabral’s death, nor did she know he was dead until after he was found because Christophe told her to go to his mother’s house after they went to several ATMs.
Defense attorney Scott Skier who is representing Joseph along with a team of lawyers used his closing argument to remind the jury that there was no evidence of a robbery or kidnapping in the case besides the testimony of Shimon and that Shimon was only making the testimony because of a 10 year deal she was offered.
“Koral is a liar. She is here to help herself. She told you, ‘I would say anything to get out of this,” Skier said, adding: “She had 16 days to come up with her version of events and four years to get her testimony right, ” Skier said.
Joseph was found guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and grand theft. The sentencing part of his trial will take place on February 13th where jurors will have to choose between sentencing Joseph to life in prison or the death penalty. In order for Joseph to be sentenced to death, all 12 jurors will have to unanimously choose that punishment over a life sentence.
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