Neighbor testifies accused Volusia triple-murder suspect wiped down wife's car

'I snapped,' Toledo told neighbor

By Jeff Segers - Photographer, Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
Jeff Segers

Luis Toledo walks into the court room on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Jurors heard from accused triple-murderer Luis Toledo's neighbor, classmate and half-brother on Monday, about events leading up to and after the his wife and her two children went missing.

Luis Toledo, 35, is accused of killing 28-year-old Yessenia Suarez and her two children, Thalia Otto, 9, and Michael Otto, 8, in Volusia County in October of 2013. Their bodies have never been found.

A barber school classmate of Toledo's testified that she helped him go through Suarez's phone records.

The state argues Toledo carried out the murders after learning of his wife's affair through a spyware app he installed on her phone.

After they found a phone number, he said "I'll take it from here," the classmate testified.

The classmate also told jurors that she would have had an affair with Toledo, but he told her he didn't want to hurt his wife. They kissed once, she told the jury.

Neighbor Tyshawn Jackson testified that Toledo showed up at his house on Oct. 23, the night after the alleged murders, at 6:11 a.m. Toledo said he needed help moving his wife's car from a nearby Publix, according to Jackson.

On the way to retrieve the car, Jackson said Toledo was acting strange. At one point Toledo turned to Jackson and said, "I snapped."

Jackson said he witnessed Toledo wiping down Suarez's car with a cleaning solution, before removing her truck liner and throwing the contents of her car into a dumpster.

The state showed pictures of the contents found in the dumpster on Monday, that included some clothing items, a dirty boot and the truck liner from Suarez's car.

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Jackson waited until after Toledo was in custody before coming forward to police. Toledo later tried to pin the murders on Jackson, but the state does not believe this account.

Toledo's half-brother, Chris Lasanta, also testified Monday telling the jury that Toldeo showed up at his house at 5:30 a.m. and was upset that his wife was having an affair. Lasanta said he tried to convince Toledo to stay, but his half-brother left.

Lasanta said that Toledo would frequently visit "his happy place," the Hollywood Cemetery in Orange City, to get away and think. The cemetery is where Toledo's parents are buried.

Last week, the jury heard from Suarez's mother, he and father and her co-worker-turned-boyfriend, Kevin Dredden.

The trial is expected to last several weeks. Toledo faces the death penalty if convicted.

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