Charges dropped against man in 15-year-old girl's death
Teen friend to be tried in Melanie Medina's shooting death
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Prosecutors have dropped almost all charges against a man originally charged with manslaughter as part of a plea deal in the death of a 15-year-old girl whose body was dumped in April 2017 along an Orange County road.
Orange County sheriff's deputies said Ramsys Cruz Abreu, 23, Melanie Medina and another girl were riding in a car when a gun being held by the other teen accidentally discharged, striking Medina.
Cruz Abreu was charged with manslaughter and tampering with evidence after prosecutors said he tried to cover up Medina's death, dumping her body. However, at a hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors with the state attorney's office said the victim's friend, Luana Diaz, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, will be prosecuted for crimes related to her friend's death. The girl was not originally charged.
Prosecutors said Diaz, now 18, was charged on April 19, this year, with failure to report a death, tampering with evidence, interfering with a dead body, lying to law enforcement and perjury. She was charged last April and her trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 5. She faces up to 13 years in prison if convicted.
As part of a plea deal, all charges except tampering with evidence have been dropped against Cruz Abreu. He was sentenced to six months in prison.
Prosecutors said the teen lied under oath and impeded the investigation.
The teen told investigators that on the night of April 10, 2017, Cruz Abreu gave her a gun and told her to shoot if she felt she needed to, while he made a drug deal.
The friend said they left an apartment complex and drove to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts near the Mall at Millenia, and that is where she said the gun slid out of her lap. She said when she grabbed it, the gun fired.
Investigators said the bullet traveled through the front seat of the car, where the friend was sitting, and hit Medina in the left side of her torso, cutting two main arteries.
The pair dumped Medina's body along Ziegler Road in Orange County, and the girl told investigators Cruz Abreu drove her home, according to the investigative report. Medina's body was found the next day.
Check back for updates in this developing story.
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