La Placita suspect pleads guilty

Lilian Duron
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - One of the people charged in the La Placita robbery and homicide changes her plea to guilty.

According to court documents, Lillian Duron pleaded guilty to Interference with Commerce by Robbery. The guilty plea guilty carries a maximum term of in prison of 20 years and a maximum fine of $250,000.

According to Bowling Green police, on March 17, two armed men, identified as Johnny Alexander Relles-Martinez and Jose Adan Mejia Varela went into La Placita on Morgantown Road, 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, the children were locked inside.

Cruz noticed Martinez was robbing the store and began to fight him.

The complaint from BGPD also says Valera returned to the store and tried to pistol whip Cruz, Martinez then shot Cruz during the fight.

Jose Cruz died of injuries sustained.

The U.S. Attorney's office said the murder was tied to a string of violent robberies at small, privately owned stores across Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Duron, Martinez, Valera, Estrellita Soto and Jorge Santos Caballero-Melgar were all charged in connection with Cruz's death.

Duron's sentencing is set for February 11, 2020.