Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fourth suspect arrested in murder-for-hire plot

BROOKSVILLE — One of the suspects wanted in connection with a home invasion as part of a plot to kill a Brooksville woman's husband has been arrested after dodging authorities for nearly a month.

Esnel Jean Baptiste, 23, of Orlando was taken into custody Monday and charged with home invasion and kidnapping. He remained at the Hernando County Jail on Tuesday with no bail.

Three other suspects are behind bars while one remains at large.

Baptiste was caught in Orange County on Saturday and was transported to the Hernando County Jail two days later. Once in custody, Baptiste told detectives that he was one of three men hired by Jacqucia Francois to do "a job" at her home.

According to the Hernando Sheriff's Office, Francois wanted the men to kill her husband, Fenol Francois, before he left for work on the morning of Nov. 18. Authorities say she wanted to be "free of him" and to have sole ownership of their property and assets.

The men, plus another named Kedner Noel, allegedly met with Francois on Nov. 16 and 17 to lay out the plan and to figure out how to get inside her home in the 8100 block of Nightwalker Road. On the morning of Nov. 18, Baptiste, Frans Guerrier and another man known only as "Mitch" allegedly broke into the home only to find that Fenol Francois had left early for work.

The men then ransacked the home, trying to find money and drugs that had been promised to them by Jacqucia Francois and Noel, according to the arrest report. When the men couldn't find the promised goods, they went into the bedroom of the couple's 13-year-old son and ordered him out of bed at gunpoint.

The men tied up the boy and waited at the home until Jacqucia Francois arrived about 7:30 a.m. Baptiste told detectives that "Mitch" tried to get Francois to enter the home so the men could confront her, but she refused and started screaming once neighbors came outside to investigate.

Within minutes, the men fled back to Orlando. Baptiste said he didn't know until later that Francois had wanted them to kill her husband.

Francois, 46, remains behind bars on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. Noel, 33, is in custody and has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and being a principal in the first degree. Both have no bail.

Guerrier, 34, also remains in custody at the county jail. He faces charges of home invasion and kidnapping.

Joel Anderson can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6120.

Fourth suspect arrested in murder-for-hire plot 12/30/08 [Last modified: Sunday, January 4, 2009 10:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: When you die, your brain knows you're dead

    Health

    Have you ever wondered what happens after you die?

    According to a new study from NYU, researchers say that a person's brain may function after their death. [iStockPhoto]

  2. Gradebook podcast: On HB 7069, with Palm Beach schools superintendent Robert Avossa

    Blogs

    After months of discussion, several Florida school districts filed suit against the Legislature over the contentious HB 7069, calling parts of it unconstitutional. At the same time, some of them also sought grant funding established in the same measure. The Palm Beach County school district did both. Superintendent …

    Palm Beach superintendent Robert Avossa
  3. Tampa police schedule update at 11 a.m. on three Seminole Heights deaths

    Crime

    TAMPA — Tampa police have scheduled a news conference at 11 a.m. for an update on their investigation of three suspicious deaths in southeast Seminole Heights during the past two weeks.

    Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan addresses reporters about the latest suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL | Times]
  4. Hooper: Jean Chatzky chats about the intersection of wealth, health

    Personal Finance

    Public safety officials can readily identify a city's most dangerous intersections.

    Personal finance adviser Jean Chatzky is one of several high profile speakers on the slate for the Women's Conference of Florida in Tampa next week. [Handout photo]
  5. Video: Buckhorn, Kriseman team up in Tampa Bay pitch to Amazon

    Economic Development

    Across the United States, cities and metro areas are in a frenzied bidding war to convince Amazon their regions are the best fit for its new headquarters, HQ2.

    The Tampa Bay area is no exception. …

    The first  video, rolled out on Oct. 19, 2017, features Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman welcoming Amazon and talking about why Tampa Bay would be a perfect fit for the second Amazon headquarters.