Florida Man Pleads Guilty in Teen’s Murder, Gets 13 Years

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
July 19, 2019US News
Florida Man Pleads Guilty in Teen’s Murder, Gets 13 Years
A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

MIAMI—A 70-year-old Florida man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering a teenage girl, dumping her body in a trash bin and burning it.

Armando Botell of Miami struck a plea deal on July 18 with the approval of Romina Fernandez’s parents. Fernandez was 17 when she was strangled in Miami in 2014. Her parents declined to make a statement to the judge.

Homicide investigators told The Miami Herald they were disappointed with the deal. Botell’s defense said going to trial would have been a risk.

Detectives say Botell had grown fixated on the teen and had given her drugs.

It was Botell’s second prison sentence for murder. He served less than 10 years for the 1980 murder of his girlfriend.

Man Kills 17-Year-Old Instagram Starlet and Posts Gory Photos Online

Police said a 17-year-old girl with a notable Instagram following was murdered in upstate New York by a man who then posted photos of her corpse online, sparking shock and horror.

Users of the Discord platform who saw the gruesome photos on Sunday, July 14, alerted the authorities to a possible crime, Utica Police said in a statement. Officers “began an in-depth search for the male and female” and later that day located the suspect, 21-year-old Brandon Clark, after he called 911 “and made incriminating statements with respect to the homicide.”

The victim has been identified as Bianca Devins, who on Instagram goes by the handle escty with a following of nearly 100,000. CNN reported Devins had a following across multiple platforms, where she shared photos and details about her life.

View this post on Instagram

happy holidays

A post shared by bianca (@beegtfo) on

Utica Police said that when they arrived at a wooded area, they found Clark laying on the ground outside a vehicle.

“The officer approached this male,” police said, “and almost immediately, he began to stab himself in the neck with a knife” and lay down on top of a green tarp.

Police disarmed Clark and “after a brief struggle” took him into custody.

Investigators noticed “brown hair protruding from beneath the tarp” and when they uncovered it, found Devin, who had “suffered extensive injuries to her neck, and was obviously deceased.”

Utica Police Lt. Bryan Coromato told WKTV that the murder weapon was a sharp instrument.

Clark was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. While noting that his injuries were severe, police said he was expected to survive.

In an update on Monday, Sgt. Michael Curley of the Utica Police Department told NBC that Clark had been charged with second-degree murder. He added that the suspect was in custody at Oneida County Jail in upstate New York.

The girl’s family said in a statement: “Bianca, age 17, was a talented artist, a loving sister, daughter, and cousin, and a wonderful young girl, taken from us all too soon. She is now looking down on us, as she joins her cat, Belle, in heaven.”

Devins had planned to attend Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica in the fall, her family said.

“Bianca’s smile brightened our lives. She will always be remembered as our princess.”

Police said Devins and Clark met on Instagram about two months ago.

“They utilized this as a means of communication primarily, and their relationship progressed into a personally intimate one,” police said. “They had spent time together, and were acquainted with each other’s families.”

The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek contributed to this report

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