Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a Florida man described as a violent parolee and street gang member accused of shooting an Uber Eats driver home on his last delivery of the night, from stabbing him 35 times and dismembering his remains.
Oscar Adrian Solis Jr., 30, is accused of stabbing Uber Eats driver Randall Cooke, 59, on April 19 at a Holiday home just outside Tampa.
Arguing for the death penalty, prosecutors said Solis had a violent criminal history, including stabbing an inmate in an Indiana prison, and called Cooke’s murder “particularly heinous, excruciating or cruel.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Pinellas-Pasco County State’s Attorney Bruce Bartlett said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. “I can’t concentrate on how an individual can be so vile. I can’t for the life of me believe he was so nonchalant in what he did.
A defense attorney for Solis, who pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse, did not immediately return an email from Law&Crime seeking comment.
Investigators said it all came crashing down when Cooke had his last meal of the night. A home surveillance camera showed Cooke heading for the door just before 7 p.m. and being pulled inside the house, authorities said. His wife reported him missing when he didn’t respond to her texts or return calls.
Bartlett told the Tampa Bay newspaper that Solis stabbed him 35 times.
Officials said home surveillance video captured the suspect carrying trash bags with another person to the side of the house the next day, officials said. Details on the second person seen in the video were not available.
Cooke’s car was found near the house, authorities said. The car had been moved after his death, the Tampa newspaper reported, citing arrest affidavits. Inside, deputies found trash bags, blood-soaked rags, paper towels and a red delivery bag that Cooke had been seen carrying in surveillance footage, the newspaper reported.
Authorities said they found some of Cooke’s dismembered remains in trash bags and a cooler on the property. Investigators found the victim’s wedding ring and car keys in a room of the house, authorities said.
At a press conference announcing Solis’ arrest on April 25, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said he was a member of a violent gang known as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13 ) who was released from an Indiana prison in January after serving more than four years. years for assault and burglary.
Nocco said the victim and suspect did not know each other and described the murder as gruesome and demonic.
“It was absolutely a horrible crime of passion,” he said. “You always say the word ‘evil,’ but it’s demonic.”
Cooke was a stepfather to two daughters and father to three other children. His wife told Patch she will never forget the day he knelt down and proposed and their wedding day – August 28, 2020.
Second marriages for the two, they had been together for 11 years, Patch reported.
“My heart and my soul are gone,” she told Patch. “As you can imagine, the devastation to not only myself but my family is currently unfathomable. Randy was a hardworking, loving, kind and caring man who cared deeply about his family and friends. The idea that he not being in our lives is something i can’t imagine.
“No one understands the love we had. We laughed every day for 11 years. Never fought. We respected each other, we comforted each other, we supported each other, we loved each other.
His stepdaughter Melany Dzoba told ABC Action News of Tampa Bay that he is a devoted husband and fun-loving father.
“He was the most perfect man,” Dzoba said. “Such a happy guy. I mean, we all go through our ups and downs. We’re all still human, but he was just – he was always so happy and just trying to have fun and laugh – all the time.
An Uber spokesperson said in a statement that they were heartbroken.
‘There is no reason Mr Cooke will not be home with his family today, and we keep his loved ones in our thoughts,’ the statement read.
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