A Florida man who had been on the run from police after allegedly killing a man in a home overrun by squatters was taken into custody after a routine traffic stop, according to police records.
Miami police responded to an empty home in the northeast part of the city last Sunday where they discovered a fatal shooting victim identified as Lamont Ferguson, according to NBC Miami. The home is owned by a local immigration lawyer, Maria Escandell, but while she worked on renovating the property, squatters allegedly moved in and took over.
“Someone broke into the house, they changed the locks and they stayed there like they owned the property. We called the police, we made a report and the police told us not to do anything, to stay away from the property because they need to investigate,” Escandell told the outlet.
From Sunday to Wednesday, police in the area investigated the shooting and sought the perpetrator until a routine traffic stop for an expired license plate helped break he case, NBC Miami reported.
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The driver of the car, 45-year-old Larry March, was reportedly fidgeting during the stop, and police found “cocaine cookies,” a machete and a gun in the vehicle.
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While he was in police custody, a woman identified as March’s girlfriend told police that the suspect had kidnapped her and claimed he was behind Ferguson’s killing the previous Sunday.
The unidentified woman told police that on Wednesday, March became irate that she was texting other people, including a coworker, according to prosecutors.
“He wants to look through her phone. And then he became agitated after seeing text messages from other people and then he starts attacking her. She’s scared for her life. Pulls out a gun, waves the gun at her direction, says ‘tell me the truth,'” a state attorney said in court describing the allegations, NBC Miami reported.
He allegedly forced her into his car and punched her repeatedly. She managed to get away just hours before he was pulled over for the expired tag, according to the allegations.
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The girlfriend alleged she was in the home overtaken by squatters the day March reportedly killed Ferguson. She said March shot Ferguson four to five times before they fled the scene, NBC Miami reported.
Police investigated the gun recovered from March’s vehicle and said it matched the weapon used to shoot Ferguson.
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March was denied bond and charged with kidnapping, battery, drug possession and second-degree murder.