Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Leon DAVIS Jr.





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robberies - To avoid capture
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: December 7/13, 2007
Date of arrest: December 14, 2007
Date of birth: December 14, 1977
Victims profile: Pravinkumar Patel, 33, and Dashrath Patel, 51 (gas station clerks) / Yvonne Bustamante, 26, Juanita "Jane" Luciano, 23, and Luciano's newborn son
Method of murder: Shooting / Strapped into chairs, doused with gasoline and set on fire
Location: Polk County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on April 29, 2011. Sentenced to death on November 30, 2012
photo gallery

Davis Given Death Sentence for Killing Store Clerks

Already on Death Row, He Now Faces Execution in Killings of Two Clerks

By Suzie Schottelkotte - The Ledger

Friday, November 30, 2012

BARTOW - Convicted murderer Leon Davis Jr. should be put to death for the execution-style killings of two clerks at a Lake Alfred convenience store in December 2007, a judge ruled Friday.

"I find the aggravating circumstances far outweigh the mitigating factors in this case," Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen said.

Davis showed little reaction as Jacobsen announced his decision Friday. He pursed his lips slightly and looked down. No one from Davis' family or the families of the victims, who were from India, attended Friday's hearing.

The convictions and death sentence automatically will be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.

Davis, who will be 35 this month, already faces two death sentences for fatally burning two women in a Lake Wales insurance office. That case, which went to trial last year, remains on appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

In this case, Davis was convicted in October of first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Prosecutors argued he attempted to rob a convenience store along State Road 557 just south of Interstate 4, but when he arrived about 9 p.m., the store was closing and the front door was locked. He fired on the clerk inside, who avoided injury by ducking behind the counter.

The store's surveillance video showed a man running across the parking lot toward Pravinkumar Patel, 33, and Dashrath Patel, 51, who were changing the lettering on the store's marquee near the roadway. What happened next wasn't captured on video, but both men were killed with gunshots at close range to their heads.

Davis had waived his right to a jury trial in this case, leaving the decision on his guilt or innocence to Jacobsen. For that reason, there also wasn't a jury recommendation on a sentence.

The only possible sentences for first-degree murder are death or life imprisonment without parole.

Prosecutors are limited to 18 reasons, called aggravating circumstances, to support a death sentence. In this case, they argued that Davis was a convicted felon with a history of violence and he was committing a robbery at the time of the murders.

They also argued that Davis killed the two men to avoid capture, but Jacobsen ruled that couldn't be proven because no one knows what occurred outside the range of the surveillance camera.

"The video clearly depicts one of the victims standing in the distance with his arms raised;" Jacobsen wrote in his sentencing order. "However, after the video goes blank, there is no way to determine exactly what happened out under the gas sign. Did the other victim take a defensive posture, or even make some offensive move towards the perpetrator? Did the victim, with his hands depicted in a raised position, lower his hands and make some aggressive move towards the perpetrator? Was there some sort of scuffle before the fatal shots were fired? We will never know."

In his sentencing order, Jacobsen said he gave very great weight to Davis' convictions for the murders of Yvonne Bustamante, 26, and Juanita "Jane" Luciano, 23, at the Headley Insurance Agency in Lake Wales a week after the BP murders in December 2007. The women were strapped into chairs, doused with gasoline and set on fire during a robbery at the agency. Bustamante, who knew Davis, identified him as her attacker before she died.

Davis was sentenced to death for the murders of Luciano and Bustamante. He was given a life sentence for the death of Luciano's newborn son, who was born prematurely the night of the attacks and died three days later.

During Friday's sentencing in the BP case, Jacobsen said he considered 14 mitigating factors, which would favor a life sentence, including Davis' history of child abuse, being bullied at school, his history of depression and mental problems and his reputation as a good father and husband.

In sentencing Davis, Jacobsen ordered him to serve life in prison for firing on the surviving clerk at the BP station, Prakashkumar Patel, who had ducked behind the counter in the store. He also sentenced him to 20 years for attempted armed robbery and 15 years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.


Judge Sentences Leon Davis Jr. to Death

By Jason Geary - The Ledger

Friday, April 29, 2011

BARTOW - Leon Davis Jr. showed no reaction Friday when he was sentenced to die for the killings of two women at a Lake Wales insurance agency.

Circuit Judge J. Michael Hunter ordered that Davis, 33, should receive society's ultimate punishment for fatally burning Yvonne Bustamante and her pregnant sister-in-law, Juanita "Jane" Luciano.

Davis robbed the Headley Nationwide Insurance office where Bustamante, 27, and Luciano, 23, were working on Dec. 13, 2007.

The judge wrote in a sentencing order that he "can only imagine the fear and terror" the women experienced in the moments leading to their murders.

The judge ruled Davis should receive life in prison for the death of Luciano's son, Michael Bustamante Jr., who was delivered prematurely the day of the attack and died a few days later.

After three years of legal wrangling and two failed attempts at a trial, Davis was found guilty in February. A few jurors attended the sentencing.

Hunter, who oversaw the entire case, needed about five minutes to announce his decision.

But the judge spent weeks crafting his 22-page sentencing order, which analyzes in painstaking detail the brutal killings as well as meticulously weighing reasons whether Davis should live or die.

At times, Hunter's voice appeared to choke up with emotion as he discussed just a few portions of his judgment.

He said handling death penalty cases is "the most difficult task" for judges and juries to perform.

He described the killings of the women as "cold, calculated and premeditated," as well as "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel."

These "aggravating circumstances" can provide the legal basis for imposing the death penalty.

Davis' case will be automatically appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.

He continues to face the death penalty in a separate incident that took place a week before the Lake Wales attack.

He is accused of fatally shooting two store clerks at a gas station near Lake Alfred.

A trial date has not yet been set and a hearing is expected Tuesday to discuss how things are progressing.

In total, Davis has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder in what is considered the worst killing rampage in Polk County history.

Outside the courtroom, Alicia Littleton, Bustamante's aunt, spoke about the pain of losing her niece and how her family waited patiently for years to get justice.

"I know some people think that it is bad because you wish somebody should die," Littleton said. "But to me, he deserves that and more."

She said she understands that more time will pass as Davis' case goes through appeals.

"We might not ever get to see him get what he deserves, but we know that he is going to pay for what he did," she said.


Hunter concluded what Davis did was perform brutal killings with careful planning.

About six days before the robbery, Davis bought a .357-caliber handgun from his cousin for $220.

He went to a Walmart store in Lake Wales on the morning of the killings to purchase an orange cooler to conceal the pistol, gloves, a long-sleeve shirt and a lighter.

He also brought along a 5-gallon gas can and duct tape to carry out the crime.

Davis locked the door of the insurance office to prevent anyone from entering. Duct tape was found over the lens of the surveillance camera inside the insurance agency.

One of the women opened the safe, and then Davis bound and taped them to chairs.

Davis also blocked the nearest exit with a chair that he set on fire.

The judge wrote that Davis' torturous method of killing the women demonstrated "extreme and outrageous depravity."

He was armed with a handgun and could have shot the women in the head if his only intent was to kill them.

"After being doused with gasoline, the victims could clearly perceive their impending fate," Hunter wrote.

The women managed to free themselves and run from the building as chunks of flesh melted from their bodies.

The extensive burns over 80 percent of their bodies eventually destroyed the women's nerve endings, but, prior to that, their injuries were quite painful, the judge wrote.

Davis fired at the women after they managed to free themselves, and they ran from the burning building.


Efforts to prepare the case for trial were made throughout 2008 and 2009.

Davis was appointed different lawyers in the early stages. For a short time, he insisted on representing himself until Robert and Andrea Norgard became his court-appointed lawyers.

In July 2010, the first attempt at a trial ended three days into jury selection as prosecutors challenged a controversial ruling by Hunter.

The judge ruled a defense expert could testify about problems with eyewitness identification.

Eyewitnesses played a significant role in the case against Davis, including a statement by Bustamante, who identified Davis as her attacker before she died.

Brandon Greisman, a bystander who attempted to aid Bustamante, also identified Davis as the person who was fleeing the insurance office and shot him.

One bullet struck Greisman, taking off the tip of his nose.

In October, jurors were selected and began to hear testimony.

However, a mistrial was later declared after a witness inappropriately testified about his opinion, which the defense argued inappropriately gave extra credibility to Bustamante's dying declaration.

Bustamante's parents, Ebelia Rodriguez and Richard Bustamante, were enraged when the mistrial took place. Ebelia Rodriguez threw her purse and Richard Bustamante climbed over benches trying to get close to Davis.

This year, a second jury was chosen and spent weeks hearing testimony and reviewing evidence.

Davis took the witness stand and denied any wrongdoing.

Littleton said Davis has shown no remorse nor taken any responsibility for his crimes.

"I knew from the beginning that he would never say that he was guilty," she said.

Jurors rejected Davis' claims of innocence.

After less than four hours of deliberations, jurors found him guilty Feb. 15 on three counts of first-degree murder, and a count each of attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and arson.

The same jury recommended unanimously that Davis should be executed for the deaths of Bustamante and Luciano.

The jury also recommended by a vote of 8 to 4 that Davis should be executed for the death of Luciano's son.

Under Florida law, Hunter was required to give the jury's recommendation "great weight," but the decision rested within his hands.


The judge considered a variety of reasons the defense argued Davis should receive life imprisonment.

He was described by family members as "a good father, a loving husband and devoted to his brother and two sisters."

Some witnesses described him as "friendly and outgoing." Hunter noted that Davis was "always cooperative, polite and respectful" to court staff.

During his childhood, Davis was bullied by an older boy who forced Davis to perform oral sex on him. His mother and father were often absent, and a caregiver was abusive to him.

He joined the U.S. Marine Corps and he served about 13 months before trying to commit suicide in an intentional automobile crash.

Military hospital records show Davis was diagnosed with a "personality disorder not otherwise specified." He did not seek treatment for this or periodic bouts with depression.

No mental health experts testified at Davis' trial.

At the time of the robbery, Davis was under a great deal of financial stress. His wife took a leave of absence from work because of a difficult pregnancy.

He had a $195,000 mortgage on his home and a car payment. He lost his job at Florida Natural Growers for stealing juice, and was working for less money at a maintenance position for Eagle Lake.

The judge considered these reasons but still felt Davis should be executed.

At Friday's hearing, the judge also sentenced Davis to life imprisonment for the attempted murder and armed robbery convictions. He received 30 years in prison for arson.


Prosecutors aren't stopping with two death sentences, three life sentences, and a 30-year prison term for arson stacked over Davis' head.

He is also accused of fatally shooting two clerks, Pravinkumar Patel and Dashrath Patel, at a BP gas station near Lake Alfred.

The men were shot on the evening of Dec. 7, 2007, as they adjusted a sign.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office has reported that a projectile from the Lake Wales attack was successfully matched to projectiles in the clerks' shooting.

The handgun was never recovered.

Lawyers are expected to discuss that case at a Tuesday hearing. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the clerks' killings.


2nd Lake Wales Burn Victim Dies At Hospital

By Bill Bair & Shoshana Walter - The Ledger

Friday, January 4, 2008

LAKE WALES - Twenty-one days after being doused with gasoline and set afire, Juanita "Jane" Luciano died Thursday.

That brings to five the number of people investigators say a Winter Haven man killed last month in failed robberies at two Polk County businesses.

Luciano, 23, was 5 1/2 months pregnant when she and co-worker Yvonne Bustamante were set on fire during the Dec. 13 robbery attempt at Headley Nationwide Insurance Agency in Lake Wales, where the two women worked.

Bustamante, 26, died Dec. 18 from burn injuries.

Luciano never regained consciousness after being flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center, officials said. She did not know her baby, Michael Bustamante Jr., was delivered by emergency Cesarean section the night of the incident, or that the 1-pound, 2-ounce baby died three days later.

Leon Davis Jr. already faces four counts of first-degree murder as a result of the deaths of Bustamante and Luciano's son and those of two BP gas station clerks in a previous attack.

Other charges already filed by Lake Wales police in relation to the attack at the insurance agency include three counts of arson, one count of armed robbery, two counts of kidnapping resulting in the infliction of bodily harm, one count of grand theft and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Before the Lake Wales attack, Luciano and Michael "Mike" Bustamante, Yvonne Bustamante's brother, were leading a life centered on her two children from a previous relationship and each other.

Friends say the couple had discussed getting married after the baby was born.

"You could see thehappiness in her," said Luciano's friend Mindy Hernandez. "She was a sacred type of girl. She wouldn't say too much about her life."

Luciano blushed a lot, she said, especially when others pointed out her growing belly, hidden often beneath gaucho pants and tank tops.

"Expecting an angel," said Luciano's page on

After the attack, witnesses said, Luciano's first thoughts were of the unborn baby.

Witnesses saw Luciano screaming for help for her baby after she collapsed in a booth in the Havana Nights restaurant near the insurance office and placed a menu over her belly.

Davis is expected to be charged with another first-degree murder in her death.

Two brave women

Police Chief Herbert Gillis said the bravery of the two women was responsible for Davis' arrest.

Despite their pain, Gillis said, Bustamante and Luciano were able to identify Davis before being flown to the Orlando hospital.

Gillis said two witnesses have told investigators that Davis was upset with a recent increase in his insurance premiums.

After setting the women on fire, police said, Davis fired at least three shots, striking Bustamante in the hand and Brandon Greisman, a good Samaritan who came to the women's aid, in the nose. Greisman is recovering from the wound.

Gillis said the victims' identification of Davis, coupled with bullets found at the Lake Wales scene, helped tie Davis to the slayings of two employees outside a BP station north of Lake Alfred on Dec. 7.

The employees were outside the station changing a sign when they were shot in the head by a gunman who first tried to get into the closed store.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office has charged Davis with two counts of murder for the deaths of the BP employees, Pravinkumar Patel and Dashrath Patel.

In addition, Davis also has been charged with attempted robbery with a firearm and premeditated attempted murder in connection with the Lake Alfred attacks, during which he is accused of trying to break into the gas station by firing through the locked front door.

When Lake Wales police revise their charges against Davis, he will be facing a total of five first-degree murder charges.

Love entwined

The lives of Luciano and Yvonne Bustamante were closely entwined, both in Lake Wales and in the small Zavala County, Texas, towns where they grew up.

Luciano and her two daughters from a previous relationship, Alysa, 3, and Danielle, 5, had moved in with Mike Bustamante shortly after moving to Lake Wales from Texas about three years ago.

Friends say they were devoted to each other.

Bustamante treated Luciano's two children as his own, said Hernandez, whose sister Rosie is married to Richard Bustamante, one of Mike's brothers.

"He's been a good dad to them," Hernandez said.

"Michael loved how she looked," she said of Luciano. "He was always grinning and smiling. He was in love with what he had. Anywhere they'd go he only had eyes for her."

He had never been as serious about a girl as he was with Luciano, Hernandez said.

Luciano was just as in love, Hernandez said.

"With Michael she was always laughing and talking about things you wouldn't expect her to talk about," Hernandez said. "With Michael she was different. She showed a different side of herself you wouldn't believe.

"Jane was a real good girl, a positive attitude and always smiling, friendly."

Luciano was never the type to go out, Hernandez said, but preferred to spend time with family.

"When she wasn't with us and the family, she was with Michael and her girls," Hernandez said.

Rosie Bustamante, 30, who is married to Mike's brother, Richard, 29, said Luciano was "always with her girls."

But daily life was often centered at the home of Yvonne Bustamante's mother, Evelia Rodriguez, who lived a few blocks away.

"After everybody was done on the weekends, gone shopping, to the movies whatever, we'd meet up at my mother-in-law's house," Rosie Bustamante said.

Among other activities, there were marathon games of Mexican Bingo, in which pictures are substituted for numbers.

"Her house was always full," she said. "Now it's not the same."

Several funds have been set up to assist the families of Jane Luciano and Yvonne Bustamante, who also had two children.

Donations can be sent in the women's names to any Wachovia Bank in Polk County or to the Bustamante, Luciano Family Victims Fund at Providence Bank, 150 First St. S., Winter Haven, FL 33880.



home last updates contact