BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – Three people were arraigned in U.S. District court Wednesday on charges of murder and robbery.
Lilian Duron, Estrellita Soto, and Jorge Caballero-Melgarand required an interpreter as their attorneys entered not guilty pleas for them in connection with the La Placita robbery in March 2017.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says on March 17, two armed men, identified as Johnny Alexander Relles-Martinez and Jose Adan Mejia Varela entered La Placita, locked the door behind them, and demanded money from the employees. During the robbery, Jose Cruz arrived at the store to pick-up his children, who were locked inside when he realized Martinez was robbing the store and began to fight him. The complaint goes on to say, Valera returned to the store and attempted to pistol whip Cruz when Martinez shot Cruz during the fight.
Cruz died from his injuries.
Melgar is accused of being the lookout during the robbery,
Duron is accused of making a wire transfer at La Placita just over an hour before the robbery. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney's Office says surveillance video shows Duron and Soto inside La Placita and in the parking lot prior to the robbery and shooting.
Soto allegedly told Melgar where the money was kept inside the store, and alerted Melgar when customers had left and only two female clerks were left inside.