There are new developments in the investigation into the death of five men in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this week who were apparently found with their throats slashed after being tortured, electrocuted, stabbed and suffocated.
Original Post – Throats Slashed – Five Men Found Dead In Birmingham Alabama Apartment
A showdown over drug money between suspected Mexican illegal aliens ended with four men in prison and four shipped back to Mexico in body bags. One body has yet to be identified.
Three suspected illegal aliens from Mexico and another man have been arrested and charged with capital murder for electrocuting, stabbing, suffocating and beating the five men to death in a murder-for-hire.
The four suspects were paid between $400,000 and $450,000 to torture the victims with electric shock and slit their throats in an Alabama apartment, police said Tuesday. The murders have been tied to a drug cartel that transports cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, the Birmingham News reported.
Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry said he believed the murders could have been revenge slayings after the victims embezzled money from a drug cartel.
“It revolves around money, and that money revolves around drugs,” he said.
Curry said there might have been other targets on the hit list who escaped before police arrived.
Arrested were Alejandros Castaneda, 31, Juan Francisco Castaneda, 25, and Christopher Scott Jones, 40, all with Birmingham addresses. Also charged was 22-year-old Jaime Rodriguez of San Antonio. All were held without bond. They will be assigned lawyers at a court hearing scheduled within 72 hours of their arrests.
A capital murder conviction could bring a death sentence or life in prison without parole.
Federal officials were working with local investigators to determine the immigration status of the victims and the suspects.
Curry declined to elaborate on how the victims were tortured by electrical shock.
The bodies of the five were found at an apartment off U.S. 280 in Shelby County. They apparently were killed Aug. 17, but the bodies were found by a deputy responding to a call on Aug. 20.
Four of the victims have been identified as Armando Lopez, 24; Ezequiel Rebollar-Perrban, 23; Jaime Echeverria, 30; and Angel Horacio Vega-Gonzalez, 23. The name of the fifth victim will be released once relatives are notified, coroner Diana Hawkins said.
Lopez, listed in court records as a transient, was charged June 1 with cocaine trafficking in Birmingham and released June 24 from jail on $100,000 bond. His bond initially was set at $1 million.