Two Doty defendants in court Wednesday
Two defendants in the Aaron Doty murder case were in court Wednesday. One will probably accept a plea deal soon, said Assistant State Attorney Pete Barone.
Travis Makris is cooperating with the state in the murder investigation of the 20-year-old Sebring man who was beaten nearly to death at a Sun N' Lake party last year, then set on fire to destroy his body.
Makris is accused of holding a bag of clothing and sneakers for one of the alleged killers, Jonathan Rodriguez and Kenneth Felipe. Makris, who was charged with accessory after the fact, is represented by William Fletcher.
Highlands County Sheriff's Det. Barbara Hair's affidavit asserted that Felipe and Rodriguez needed a place to hide, so they contacted Felipe's cousin, Burgos, who offered his Orlando apartment. U.S. marshals traced Felipe and Rodriguez and arrested all three.
Barone said a plea deal isn't being offered to Burgos. Both Makris and Burgos have bonded out of Highlands County Jail.
Two defendants already have pled. Nicole Hebert pleaded nolo contendere three weeks ago for her part in the murder of Aaron Doty, and Adrianna Rodriguez pleaded guilty.
Hebert, who has been in Highlands County Jail since she was arrested in August, was returned to custody to serve the remainder of a 364-day sentence. Circuit Court Judge Angela Cowden also sentenced the woman to nine years probation, which could be terminated after six years.
Adrianna Rodriguez (not related to Jonathan Rodriguez) walked out with her family after being sentenced to five years probation. The proceedings for both women took less than 30 minutes.
Jonathan Rodriguez and Felipe are scheduled to reappear at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Both remain in Highlands County Jail on charges of first-degree murder, abuse of a body and tampering with physical evidence. Jonathan Rodriguez is represented by Assistant Public Defender Robert H. Gray. Felipe is represented by Shirley Whitsitt and Byron P. Hileman.
Both Rodriguez and Felipe remain in Highlands County Jail on charges of first-degree murder, abuse of a body and tampering with physical evidence. Jonathan Rodriguez is represented by Assistant Public Defender Robert H. Gray. Felipe is represented by Shirley Whitsitt and Byron P. Hileman.