Murder suspect tries to get inmates to kill witness, police say

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A murder suspect in custody at a jail in Florida tried to get inmates inside with her to help her kill a witness in her case, police say.

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On Tuesday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that Fatima Garcia Avila, 21, has been charged with solicitation to commit murder. Garcia Avila tried to get a few inmates to help her kill a prime suspect in her case.

Avila was one of two suspects in two murders in Dover, Florida, and Thonotosassa, Florida, last July, deputies said, according to WFLA. Garcia Avila and Daniel Negrete, 27, allegedly killed two people that they had familial ties with.

On July 18, 2022, Garcia Avila and Negrete drove together to the victim’s house in Dover. The sheriff’s office said that they both left the house in separate cars. One of those cars was located nearby and was set on fire. On July 26, 2022, investigators found an adult man dead with upper body trauma at the Baker Creek Boat Ramp in Thonotosassa. Investigators believed that the victims were not randomly killed.

Garcia Avila has been in custody in Falkenburg Road Jail awaiting trial. WFLA reported she has been in custody since her first arrest.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Jail Intelligence Squad was informed about Garcia Avila’s alleged plot to kill the prime witness after witnesses came forward, deputies said, according to the news outlet.

“This is a woman who has no regard for life other than her own, and she continues to prove that even behind bars,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister in the news release. “I commend the work of the detention deputies and staff for being attentive, alert, and stopping another potential murder.”

Garcia Avila has been placed under strict restrictions in order to protect the witnesses as well as the investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

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