Florida Man Charged with First-Degree Murder in Killing of Teen Walking to School

ORLANDO, Fla. — DeAndre Eugene Florence, a recently released Florida man convicted of second-degree murder, is now facing a first-degree murder charge for the killing of a 15-year-old student in a cellphone robbery while walking to school.

Florence, 23, was arrested on December 18, 2018, for the death of Alejandro “Alex” Vargas Martinez, a student at Boone High School in Orlando. Alongside the murder charge, Florence has been accused of robbery by snatching, racketeering, three counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, and dealing in stolen property.

Authorities revealed that Florence and a 16-year-old accomplice were part of a criminal enterprise targeting cellphone thefts when they targeted Martinez. The accomplice, Denim Williams, was killed a few years ago by the person they were attempting to rob. Florence had been previously arrested in connection to that incident and received a plea deal resulting in a conviction for second-degree murder.

During a news conference, Martinez’s family shared their pain and consistent remembrance of him. They spoke of their faith in the justice system and their belief that the truth would prevail.

Florence is currently being held without bail in the Orange County jail.