Orlando Sentinel

Evidence ‘insufficie­nt’ in charge against man accused of killing wife

But state attorney’s office says it hopes to work with police to move case forward

- By Monivette Cordeiro Orlando Sentinel Staff writer Katie Rice contribute­d to this report. mcordeiro@orlandosen­tinel.com

The evidence collected by Osceola deputies against a Kissimmee man accused of killing his wife at a motel last month is “insufficie­nt” to hold him in custody on a formal charge of second-degree murder, Orange-Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell said Wednesday evening.

A judge ordered that Kaylan Vega, 24, be released on his own recognizan­ce after prosecutor­s “did not have a good faith basis” to object to the request from Vega’s attorney, Worrell’s office said in a statement. Vega is still in custody, though, at the Orange County Jail for an alleged probation violation.

Prosecutor­s are required to file formal charges 30 days after a defendant is arrested. If they don’t file charges, the defendant is released from custody no more than 40 days after being arrested.

The evidence submitted by the Osceola County Sheriff ’s Office was not enough to charge Vega at the moment but prosecutor­s will continue reviewing evidence, according to Worrell’s office.

“Homicide cases demand thorough investigat­ions,” Worrell’s office said. “... When an arrest is made, prosecutor­s have a duty to determine if they can ethically charge a crime. As of today, based on the evidence submitted to our office in this case, we cannot. Our office has requested, but has not yet received, additional evidence that would ensure that justice and due process are held paramount.”

OCSO did not respond immediatel­y to a request for comment.

Vega is accused of fatally shooting his wife in the head July 1 at the Red Carpet Inn off U.S. 192.

A man deputies identified as Vega’s brother, 21-year-old Kysean Francis, was also arrested in connection with the case on charges of being an accessory after the fact to a life felony and tampering with evidence. After his arrest, Francis told deputies that Vega shot his wife during an argument in which she brandished a knife, court records show.

After leaving the motel, Vega called 911 to report his wife had been injured, according to records.

Worrell has previously defended her office’s handling of a case where Vega pleaded no contest to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutor­s waived a minimum mandatory sentence and Vega was ordered to serve five years of probation in April.

The state attorney’s office said Wednesday that it hopes to work with law enforcemen­t to “evaluate how we can move forward in the handling of this case within the confines of the law.”

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victim’s family and those impacted by this tragedy,” the office said. “State Attorney Worrell stands by the Office’s intention to approach sensitive matters thoughtful­ly, through meaningful and measured conversati­ons with the families impacted, as well as the investigat­ive law enforcemen­t agency.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States