Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plant City murderer gets life in prison for killing bystander

TAMPA — Fransisco Rangel, who fatally shot an innocent bystander while fleeing from Hillsborough sheriff's deputies in 2008, will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Rangel, 28, took a plea deal Wednesday to avoid the death penalty. The deal stipulates he can't appeal the life sentence.

He already had been sentenced to life in prison for the Dec. 4 shooting death of his friend, Michael Longoria.

That shooting led deputies to follow Rangel near Plant City on Dec. 5. Realizing they were on his trail, Rangel stopped his car on the James L. Redman Parkway and opened fire.

The deputies were unharmed, but Candelario Lagunes, a passenger in his son's car, was shot and killed by a stray bullet.

Lagunes, 58, left behind a wife, three children and four grandchildren. His wife, Virginia Lagunes, spoke during sentencing.

"Maybe he'll think and have some kind of remorse," she said in Spanish. "He destroyed lives, very beautiful lives."

Rangel stood, faced the family and asked for forgiveness.

"I only want to say I regret what I've done," he said.

He turned to the deputies and apologized for putting their lives in danger.

Rangel thanked two of the deputies for being honest, then rebuked two others, accusing them of lying during the investigation.

"I don't understand how you guys were able to identify me," he said.

No one responded.

Then Circuit Judge William Fuente read the sentences:

Life in prison six times over for the first-degree murder of Lagunes and the attempted murder of five law enforcement officers; 30 years for two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm; 40 years for shooting at vehicles; and five years for fleeing from law enforcement.

Rangel already has filed an appeal in the first shooting. Fuente told Rangel that even if he's awarded a new trial, it won't affect the latest life sentence.

Outside the courtroom, sheriff's Maj. Harold Winsett assured the tearful family that Rangel will never get out of prison.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or

Plant City murderer gets life in prison for killing bystander 03/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Despite Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough remains on pace to unlock hotel tax that could pay for Rays ballpark


    TAMPA — Despite the threat of a catastrophic storm, it was business as usual at many Hillsborough County hotels in the days before Hurricane Irma bore down on the Tampa Bay region.

    The Grand Hyatt near TIA closed during Hurricane Irma, but many other Hillsborough hotels were open and saw an influx.
  2. Pinellas votes 7-0 to help sue Legislature over new law favoring charter schools


    LARGO — They said they had no choice but to do it. They said they would rather reach a compromise.

    Gov. Rick Scott, right, kicks off the 2017 legislative session on March 7 in Tallahassee. Scott later signed a massive education bill that is being challenged by several school districts. On Tuesday, Pinellas became one of them. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  3. Deputies find 24 dogs, 2 birds, 2 cats, 1 child in Hernando home

    Public Safety

    SPRING HILL —A woman was arrested Monday on charges of animal cruelty after deputies said they found injured animals at her Spring Hill home.

    Jennie Card, 44, was arrested on two counts of animal cruelty after deputies said they found her injured animals at her Spring Hill residence.[Courtesy of Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
  4. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors


    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]
  5. Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, Cash, a new stadium


    More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

    Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.