Grand jury indicts 1st-degree murder charge for 3 suspects in Lehigh homicide

A grand jury gave an indictment for first-degree murder charges in connection with the death of a taxi driver in Lehigh Acres, the state attorney’s office announced Thursday.

Ricky Ligonde, 20, Empimenio Leal, 16, and Angel Arellano, 13, are each facing charges of one count of first-degree murder and one count robbery with a firearm, according to the state attorney’s office.

Arellano is also facing the charge “due to the heinous nature of the crime,” said Chief Assistant State Attorney Amira Fox.

Deputies responded to a crash on April 7 at the intersection of 31st Street West and Ruth Avenue in Lehigh Acres and found a deceased man who suffered several gunshot wounds inside a silver Dodge Caravan — which later revealed was stemmed from a robbery.

Ligonde was arrested April 12 in connection with the death, Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Leal and Arellano were found with stolen guns on April 27 that were in connection with the April 7 killing, according to deputies.

The man, later identified as Hinso Estreplit, was a self-employed taxi driver who was “simply a hard worker providing for his family,” said undersheriff Carmine Marceno.

The charges are punishable by life in prison, Fox said.

Their arraignments are scheduled for May 7.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
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