William Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, announced today that Daryl Mayatte was sentenced to Life without parole for the murder of Christian Pacheco.
He was also sentenced to a concurrent life sentence for the attempted murder of Rafael Rojas, the life sentence to each crime will run concurrent. Mr. Mayatte was convicted December, 13, 2012 after a 4-day jury trial. Mr. Mayatte also entered a plea of No Contest to Battery on a Jail Detainee and was sentenced to the maximum allowable sentence of 5 years.
The original charges arose from an incident that occurred on March 12, 2011 on Country Club Road in South Walton County. After meeting at PF Chang's, the defendant followed Mr. Rojas and Mr. Pacheco back to Mr. Rojas' home. Throughout the day, the defendant had sent threatening text messages to Mr. Rojas and sent text messages to others that he had a gun and planned to "jack these Mexicans".
At Mr. Rojas' home, there was a brief argument and the defendant opened fire shooting each victim four times. Mr. Pacheco died at the scene from his injuries which included 3 gunshot wounds in the back. Mr. Rojas was able to get safely in his home after being shot in the leg, abdomen, arm and mouth. 911 was called and officers responded within minutes.
Testimony from the doctor who treated Mr. Rojas indicated he would have died "within an hour" if not for the swift response of the South Walton Fire District and Walton County Sheriff's Office.
The defendant fled to a friend's home in Mississippi and disposed of the weapon along the way. The defendant ultimately turned himself in 2 days later.
When pronouncing sentence the Honorable Kelvin C. Wells stated "Mr. Mayatte you have lived a life of crime, today it is time for that life of crime to end." The case was investigated by the Walton County Sheriff's Office led by lead investigator Rome Garrett and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason.