Florida prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the MS-13 gang member charged with murdering an Uber Eats driver who was making a delivery to his home in April.
State Attorney Bruce Bartlett filed a “notice to seek the death penalty” against Oscar Adrian Solis Jr., 30, after his indictment on Friday.
The state attorney’s office mentioned that its decision to seek the death penalty was motivated by Solis’ violent criminal history, and the “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel” nature of the recent murder.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Bartlett told the Tampa Bay Times. “I cannot focus on how an individual can be so vile,” he said of the seemingly random slaughter.
On the evening of April 17, the 59-year-old Randall Cooke approached Solis’ house to make his last delivery of the day. Surveillance footage from the accused’s house showed Cooke ring the doorbell only to get pulled inside.
“I don’t want to get into how gruesome this case was,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters at the time. “You always say the word evil, but this is demonic.”
According to the state attorney, Cooke was stabbed 35 times inside the house and then cut up into pieces.
The surveillance camera captured two men, including Solis, carrying trash bags around to the side of the house the next day.
When investigators examined the contents of those trash bags, they found body parts inside, including a “human foot wearing a black sock.” The remains were identified as the missing Uber Eats driver.
After the murder, Solis parked his victim’s car barely half a mile down the road. Police said they found a trash bag filled with blood-soaked rags and towels in the vehicle. Cooke’s car keys and wedding ring were later found inside Solis’s house.
Police initially arrested Solis for crossing state lines while on parole, to prevent Solis from fleeing while giving investigators more time to gather evidence to prepare the murder charges.
On Friday, Solis was indicted for first-degree murder and abuse of a dead human body, two felonies.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Solis has an extensive rap sheet, including battery, resisting arrest, and a charge for stabbing a fellow inmate.
Solis had served a four-year sentence in an Indiana prison for assault and burglary. After being released on parole in January, Solis moved to live near his father in Florida.
According to the Sheriff, Solis had ties with MS-13.
The investigation revealed no connection between the victim and the accused, making the crime not just gruesome but completely random.
“It doesn’t make sense,” Cooke’s stepdaughter Melany Dzoba told WFTS. “He was the most perfect man,” she said. “Such a happy guy. I mean, we all go through our ups and downs. We’re all still human, but he just—he was always just so happy.”
Cooke was a graphic designer by trade who worked extra hours at Uber Eats to support his family. Friends set up a Gofundme page to help the family after Cooke’s untimely death.