Daytona Beach serial killer Robert Hayes found guilty in three murders

Killings happened in 2005 and 2006

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of accused Daytona Beach serial killer Robert Hayes.

Hayes, 39, has been found guilty of killing three women in Daytona Beach in 2005 and 2006 after jury deliberations began Tuesday morning.

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Investigators accused Hayes of killing Laquetta Gunther, Julie Green and Iwana Patton. He is also accused of killing a woman in 2016 in Palm Beach County.

Opening statements happened on Feb. 11 where prosecutors showed a timeline of all three murder cases that look place in Daytona Beach. Throughout the trial, jurors were told they will be hearing from several experts.

Hayes was arrested in Palm Beach County in 2016 on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of Rachel Elizabeth Bey, who was found strangled and sexually battered on the side of a road, according to authorities.

At the time of that arrest, officials said they were working to connect Hayes to the deaths of Gunter, Green and Patton, who were shot and killed in Daytona Beach a decade prior.

Authorities said DNA evidence from crime scenes that was run through genealogy sites eventually linked Hayes, who was a student at Bethune-Cookman University at the time of the slayings, to the deaths of Gunter, Green and Patton. Police said the women were fatally shot when they got into a car with a stranger and their bodies were dumped in a secluded area.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.