A man is charged as a possible serial killer hunting down women in south Florida. Robert Tyrone Hayes, 39, stands trial before a Volusia County jury. You can watch in the player above.
Hayes faces three counts of first-degree murder with a firearm for allegedly killing Laquetta Gunther, 45, around Dec. 24, 2005, Julie Green, 34, on Jan. 14, 2006, and Iwana Patton, 35, on Feb. 24, 2006. Each of the women sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the head, according to a recent court filing. Gunther, Green, and Patton were found without their clothes.
“The case was a cold case for more than 10 years until new DNA technology was utilized to lead to a suspect in the case,” the filing said.
#DaytonaSerialMurders – Law&Crime’s camera will be inside the courtroom for FL v. #RobertHayes. Hayes is an accused serial killer targeting women, some were sex workers, from 2005-2016. This trial is for victims in 2005 & 2006 – Laquetta Gunther, Julie Green and Iwana Patton pic.twitter.com/zpOF4s6HVi
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) February 8, 2022
Hayes is separately charged in Palm Beach County with allegedly strangling Rachel Elizabeth Bey, 32, to death in 2016. Investigators have also investigated whether he might be linked to 30-year-old Stacey Gage‘s death.
Volusia County prosecutors have said that Gunther, Green, and Patton were sex workers, according to The St. Augustine Record. (Patton never did sex work, her niece said.) Hayes had killed each of the three women using a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson gun, the state asserted. Hayes had been studying criminal justice at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Hayes, the would-be criminal justice expert. Aggravating factors include him committing the murders in connection to sexual battery, committing the murders in order to evade arrest, and these killings being especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.
[Booking photo via Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office]
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