Judge tells convicted murderer Luis Toledo to stop trying to signal jury
'Just go ahead and do it,' experts say Volusia killer motioned to jury
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A St. Augustine judge reprimanded Luis Toledo, convicted of killing his wife and stepchildren, Thursday before closing arguments could start for a second day in the sentencing phase of the trial.
Before the judge even called for the jury to enter the courtroom he spoke to Toledo.
"There were a certain number of hand gestures that you made that were picked up by some of the cameras," Judge Raul Zambrano said.
A video of Toledo from Wednesday afternoon shows Toledo signing a message with his hands.
Investigators working on the case told News 6 Toledo was trying to communicate the phrase, "Just go ahead and do it.”
"It is an unwelcome distraction for this trial, No. 1. No 2, it is a security violation, so I'm going to warn you not to do it again,” Zambrano said.
Toledo was found guilty last week of first-degree murder for killing his wife, Yessenia Suarez, and stepchildren in 2013. Opening arguments started Wednesday morning, for the jury to decide the fate of Toledo. He faces the death penalty or life in prison.
During the second day of closing arguments, the defense questioned their medical experts about Toledo's brain, saying it has abnormalities that are due to past traumatic injuries.
"He shows decrease in the frontal lobe compared to other parts of the brain,” said Dr. Joseph Wu, a psychiatrist.
The state tried to debunk the diagnosis.
"What you're basically saying here today is, is that the doctors that treated the defendant at that time didn't know what they were doing,” assistant state attorney Ryan Will said. “But, you today, can look back at all these many years later and reach conclusions that they completely missed even though they were treating him at the time."
The defense is asking for “mercy” pushing for life in prison while prosecutors are asking for the death penalty.
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