Cash Feenz defendants back in court
Two co-defendants in a 2006 double murder in Cape Coral are seeking new sentences thanks to a recent Florida Supreme Court ruling on juveniles serving life sentences.
Roderick Antwon Washington, 25, and Ashley M. Toye, 26, both have re-sentencing hearings on Monday at the Lee County Justice Center before Circuit Judge Bruce Kyle, according to records. They were convicted in connection to the murders of Alexis Sosa, 18, and his nephew, Jeffrey Sosa, 14.
Washington was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences, plus 30 years in prison, for two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Toye was sentenced to life without parole for two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of tampering fabricating physical evidence.
To comply with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in March that juveniles cannot be sent to prison for life if they have not killed someone, according to the Associated Press. It also ruled that mandatory life-without-parole sentences are unconstitutional for juvenile murderers.
Anyone who received life sentences as juveniles has two years to seek new sentences.
The Associated Press reported that the ruling could affect about 200 people.
Washington was 16 years old and Toye was 17 years old at the time of the murders.
Alexis and Jeffrey Sosa were hog-tied, beaten and tortured at a Cape Coral duplex during a birthday party in October 2006. Driven to an industrial park, they were fatally shot and Alexis’ body was put in the truck of a vehicle and set on fire. Authorities found Jeffrey’s body lying near the burned vehicle.
Ten people, ages 16 to 20, were charged in connection to the incident.
The co-defendents all had ties to a rap group called the Cash Feenz.
Kemar Manley Johnston was convicted and sentenced to four consecutive life sentences, plus 30 years in prison. He was 20 at the time of the murder, so he is not eligible for a re-sentencing hearing.
Kenneth Junior Lopez was sentenced to 50 years in prison in a plea deal with the state.
Melissa Rivera, Iriana Santos, Alexis Fernandez, Cody Roux and Michael Balint pleaded guilty to lesser crimes and received prison sentences that varied between 14 years and 26 years in exchange for their testimony. Paul Nunes pleaded guilty in a deal with the state to a reduced sentence of 40 years.
Attorney Pauline Franklin is representing Washington in the re-sentencing.
She did not return messages seeking comment on the case Thursday.
Attorney Stuart Pepper is representing Toye.
He declined to comment on the case pending the hearing on Monday.
According to the Equal Justice Initiative, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for children 17 or younger convicted of homicide are unconstitutional.
The Court struck down statutes in 29 states that provide for mandatory life-without-parole sentences.