A woman allegedly used money she received through the federal Paycheck Protection Program to hire a hitman to kill a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent working in Miami.
Police say that 33-year-old Jasmine Martinez paid Javon Carter, 29, to carry out the hit last year on 24-year-old Le’Shonte Jones, who worked as a TSA agent at the Miami International Airport. Romiel Robinson, 35, Martinez’s boyfriend, was arrested for allegedly brokering the deal between Martinez and Carter.
Jones was fatally shot outside her apartment in Homestead, Florida, last year as her 3-year-old daughter watched. The young girl was injured in the attack, which happened in broad daylight, NBC 6 reported. The outlet added that the mother and daughter were approached by a man inside a dark, four-door Nissan, who got out and shot Jones before fleeing.
The outlet also received a newly unsealed arrest warrant detailing the murder-for-hire plot.
“Bank statements were obtained which show a series of withdrawals of over $10,000 in cash and/or payments which occurs over the following days leading up to the homicide,” the warrant said, according to NBC 6.
Martinez allegedly used the money she received from a $15,000 pandemic-related loan to finance the killing. Martinez obtained the loan by claiming she needed it to continue operating her single-employee beauty salon, The Miami Herald reported.
The warrant also states that a video on Carter’s phone showed him counting a large amount of cash on the day of the shooting, bragging that it’s “Just another day at the office.”
Martinez is accused of ordering the hit because Jones had agreed to testify against Martinez and two others. The Herald reported that the investigation into Jones’ death “focused on Jones’ role as a prosecution witness,” as she “had been the victim in an ongoing robbery case that involved Martinez.” The Herald noted that Martinez had “a long series of run-ins with Jones”:
She’d first been arrested on a battery charge in April 2016, accused of striking Jones, who was dating Martinez’s ex-boyfriend. The case wound up dropped.
Martinez was arrested again in 2018, for again beating up Jones. After a court hearing for the case in February 2020, according to police reports, Jones was attacked in the parking lot of Miami’s criminal courthouse by Martinez’s boyfriend, Kelly Nelson.
Nelson was jailed for armed robbery. He is awaiting trial, even though the chief witness has been murdered. Martinez was not charged in that case.
The police allege that while waiting for Nelson’s case, Martinez “orchestrated a campaign to threaten and intimidate Jones, and then eventually murder the young mother when she continued to cooperate with prosecutors.”
The murder-for-hire plot was discussed in jail phone calls, some of which were recorded and are now being used as evidence, according to the Herald.
The three suspects were arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, according to police. Martinez and Robinson are also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Carter and Robinson were arrested in Miami and were booked into Miami-Dade jail, while Martinez was arrested in St. Lucie County and is awaiting extradition back to Miami, NBC 6 reported.
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