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Man accused of killing friend in Debary storage unit to face death penalty

Julio Rivera previously convicted of murder in New York

Julio Rivera, 48.
Julio Rivera, 48.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the man accused of fatally shooting his friend in a DeBary storage unit last month.

On Monday, Julio Rivera, 48, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder.

R.J. Larizza, the state attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit, filed a notice Thursday informing Rivera that prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against him. If convicted, the just must unanimously recommend the death penalty.

Investigators say Rivera was in the storage unit on Dec. 8, 2019 on Highbanks Road with his friend and his friend’s girlfriend when Rivera fatally shot the friend.

The woman told investigators Rivera shot her boyfriend in the head three times while they were sitting inside the storage unit.

Officials with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Rivera was living in the storage unit.

Rivera was previously convicted of murder in New York and was wanted on an active arrest warrant for a parole violation. Investigators said they believe Rivera was hiding out in the storage unit since October to avoid arrest.

A date for his new murder trial has not been set yet.