Local News

No plea yet in Travis Makris case

SEBRING - Lawyers prosecuting and defending Travis Makris had not reached a plea agreement by Wednesday morning, so Circuit Court Judge Angela Cowden continued the case until June 19. Makris is accused as an accessory because he held a bag of clothing, tennis shoes and other items for one of the accused killers the Aaron Doty murder case. Two men, Kenneth Felipe, 19, and Jonathan Rodriguez, 21, are accused of beating Doty, 20, to death during a party last year at a Sun N' Lake apartment. Defense attorney Bill Fletcher and Assistant State Attorney Pete Barone told Cowden they took depositions on Tuesday, but did not reach an agreement. "They're just in no hurry on Makris," Fletcher explained later. "He's out of jail; he's out on bond; and I really want to listen to all the ramifications of that kind of a charge and what he did to really determine if he is really guilty of that.
"But we're cooperating - as he has been, he's always cooperated. They just haven't been in a hurry," the Sebring attorney said. "They plea bargained the others; they just haven't gotten serious about (Makris)." Felipe's girlfriend Nicole Hebert was accused of driving him and Rodriguez to Burgos' Orlando apartment. Last month, she accepted a 10-year jail and probation sentence. Adrianna Rodriguez (no relation to Jonathan), who was accused of cleaning up blood evidence at the apartment where Doty was nearly beaten to death, was sentenced to five years probation. Pretrial conferences for Rodriguez and Felipe have been continued to June 20. "Nothing is going to take place in the foreseeable future with them," Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin said last month. "I have no doubt they are going to trial." Giovanni Burgos, who is also represented by Fletcher, has not been cooperating with authorities, so a plea bargain is not expected. He is accused of hiding Rodriguez and Felipe at his apartment. "I do anticipate it will be worked out" for Makris," Fletcher said. "I'm not quite sure what it will be. He's the reason they have the clothes that they have and the gas can that they have." gpinnell@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5828