Lavaya May and Ted Lee.
Lavaya May and Ted Lee.

Lavaya May accepts 20 year plea deal in Ted Lee murder

Lavaya May admitted to recruiting two of her friends to commit the brutal murder of Ted Lee, in the 20th Circuit Court of Florida Monday.

The events unfolded routinely at court today.

“Do you believe this plea is in your best interest?” Lee County Judge Nicholas Thompson said.

“Yes sir,” May replied.

“Alright,” he said. “I’m going to accept your plea, find you freely, voluntarily and knowingly waive your right.”

As part of the plea deal, May will spend 246 months in state prison, or over 20 years, for second-degree murder.

May, 18, claimed Lee sexually abused her for years. The result of the crime she pleaded to was not routine.

In 2016, a couple of weeks prior to the murder, May, Tyson Hunter and Jonathan Ruffini, were hanging out together, consuming cough syrup while cutting themselves.

May soon broke down.

She revealed to Hunter and Ruffini that Lee had molested her for years. The trio devised a plan to exact revenge on Lee.

On Thursday, July 14, May let her two friends into Lee’s home while she stayed nearby at a relative’s house.

When Lee, 58, walked into his home, Hunter swung a 10-pound Louisville Slugger bat into his head, repeatedly. Lee was hit by the weapon 15 to 20 times. Ruffini then stabbed Lee twice in his torso, making sure Lee was dead.

Hunter and Ruffini proceeded to pour bleach on the areas that were drenched with blood.

May returned to the home and immediately hugged her two friends.

The men wrapped the lifeless body into a rug, sheets and a blanket, proceeding to load the corpse in the trunk of Lee’s car.

The trio fled the scene in the stolen vehicle. Kansas Highway Patrol later stopped them nearby a truck stop in Topeka. They were soon arrested.

Hunter, 25, has pleaded no contest in a plea agreement to charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree murder and fraudulent use of a credit card. He faces up to 40-years in prison.

Ruffini, 20, has pleaded guilty to charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree murder and fraudulent use of a credit card. His plea agreement stipulates 25 years in state prison, with a reduction of time conditional of his cooperation in the case against May.

May did not express much emotion while being sentenced in court Monday.

After she answered the court’s question that the plea was in her best interest, the judge informed her that she would receive credit for time served.

Reporter:Taylor Bisacky
Writer:Michael Mora
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