Ortiz sentenced to life for Beach murder
BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Abel Ortiz was given two life sentences on Tuesday for his involvement in the attempted robbery and murder of Edward Kenneth Ross in Panama City Beach, according to the State Attorney’s Office.
Ortiz was found guilty in September of first degree felony murder and attempted robbery with a firearm after a three-day trial.
He was one of three gunmen who broke into Ross’s home and attempted to rob him, but instead all three shot at the victim, with Ortiz reportedly shooting 7 times and hitting the victim with three bullets, and a final shot to the back.
In a victim impact statement, Ross’s father told the court in some ways, “Ortiz’s robbery was a success.”
“You robbed me of a son and the family that he would have,” he said. “I now have to live for the rest of my life with the images of my son laying on the floor bleeding out, gasping for air and watching as the life light in his eyes went out while I was on the phone with 911.”
Prosecutor Mark Graham asked for the maximum sentence, pointing out that Ortiz was only six months away from being an adult when the crime occurred, was a willing and eager participant, fired multiple times, and bragged about the killing to others.
Judge Gay, in handing down the sentences, ordered they be served concurrently as required by law.
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