Local News

Avon Park man convicted of Lake County killing

AVON PARK - Daniel Aguilera, 35, of Avon Park, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Xochitl Leyva Patino, who was fatally shot at her Mascotte ho

Alejandro Cedillo and the victim's brother, Arturo Leyva Patino, testified they saw Aguilera shoot Xochitl Patino, who worked two jobs to support four children in Mexico. Both men testified about bad feelings between Aguilera and Cedillo over money owed by a mutual acquaintance, the Sentinel reported.

Cedillo and Xochitl Patino were outside their Mascotte home where Aguilera waited in a parked vehicle. Her brother was in another vehicle when Aguilera fired twice, hitting Patino.

Aguilera had avoided arrest by assuming a new identity. Calling himself Gerardo Aguilera Vargas, Aguilera moved 80 miles away to Avon Park, where he married, had four children and worked at a tire shop, authorities said.

A confidential informant tipped authorities about the shooter in the cold case.

Aguilera later admitted to firing the gun twice but said it occurred during a fight.