Trial opens for last defendant in 2005 homicide
A Cape Coral man is the last of five defendants accused in a 2005 North Fort Myers murder to face trial.
Dave Gaphoor, 26, of 3003 S.W. Santa Barbara Lane, began trial before a 14-person Lee County jury Tuesday.
Gaphoor is charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder, one count of aggravated battery and one count of attempted home invasion robbery in a Thanksgiving Day break-in that left Jose Gomez, 25, shot to death and others injured.
Gaphoor faces a possible life sentence if convicted.
The home invasion and slaying happened at 18060 Nalle Road, where approximately 11 to 16 employees of Fort Myers construction company Carpentry Houses stayed while they worked on various projects, testified the home’s owner and owner of Carpentry Houses, Rafael Tinoco, Tuesday.
Gomez was one of several workers staying at the home when Gaphoor allegedly entered the home with a revolver, along with two co-defendants also alleged to have been armed with weapons.
Anibal Morales, Christopher Neuberger, Elizabeth Reed and Miguel Pedraza were also charged in Gomez’s death.
Morales was convicted of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and aggravated battery in February. The state dropped an attempted home invasion robbery charge against him.
Morales is scheduled to be sentenced April 20.
Neuberger was acquitted of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and aggravated battery in a February jury trial.
Pedraza was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
As part of a plea agreement, Reed pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and attempted home invasion robbery in March.
She will be sentenced April 20.
Several occupants who were in the home the night Gomez was killed testified Monday that they and their co-workers were battered, robbed at gunpoint and shot at.
Gaphoor’s trial resumes today at 9 a.m.