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3 charged with murder in Tampa in Saudi man's death

Two men and a woman were charged with first-degree murder Thursday in the beating death of a Saudi businessman Tuesday night.

Vontavia "Tay" Lynn Vance, 23, Leon Scott Clay, 25, and Erasmo Morales, 25, wanted to rob Aladdin El-Egl, who was killed at his Carrollwood office, said Hillsborough sheriff's Lt. Craig Latimer.

Interviews and physical evidence found at the scene led police to arrest Vance and Clay without incident at a Tampa residence, Latimer said. Morales had been arrested Wednesday on unrelated charges. Authorities found a forged check from El-Egl's business checkbook for $14,000 in the possession of Vance and Clay, Latimer said.

"They went in there to rob the guy, and apparently it didn't go real well," Latimer said.

El-Egl suffered "numerous" blows from a blunt object to his head and upper body, officials said. His business partner, Mohammed Bawaztr, discovered the body Tuesday night at their office, 5555 W Linebaugh Ave. Deputies found a trailer hitch at the scene, which was one object used to strike El-Egl, an auto exporter, Latimer said.

The three people charged knew El-Egl through business dealings with Brothers International Exports, which ships American-made automobiles to Saudi Arabia, and had targeted him for the robbery, Latimer said.

"They've implicated themselves in given statements," he said.

Authorities said none of the suspects had a known address. All being held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bail.