OCOEE, Fla. - The man who was a lookout driver for a suspected killer pleaded guilty Wednesday to armed burglary for his part in the alleged cover-up killing.
As part of a plea deal, Nesly Ciceron pleaded guilty to armed burglary and agreed to testify against the other defendants to get a 15-year maximum sentence instead of life in prison.
Prosecutors said Ciceron is one of several people who helped Bessman Okafor in connection with the shooting death of Alex Zaldivar in Ocoee.
Okafor is accused of shooting Zaldivar and two others who were set to testify against him in a home-invasion case the next day.
Zaldivar died after being shot in the back of the head. The two others who were shot survived their injuries.
"These guys are natural-born killers. They don't care. They wake up in the morning and rob you and steal from you and kill you if they have to, and that's what they did to Alex. They didn't give it a second thought. Shot him in the back of the head," said Alex's father, Rafael Zaldivar.
Rafael Zaldivar became very emotional after the plea hearing. He had to hear firsthand about the callousness of his son's killing.
Ciceron owned up to his part in the death of Zaldivar, admitting he was the lookout for Okafor.
Ciceron had told police and prosecutors in the past that he thought he was helping with a burglary to get money for Okafor's lawyer. He said he didn't know he was agreeing to become part of a murder plot.
Police said Ciceron waited in a car outside Zaldivar's home last September while Okafor and Donnell Godfrey shot
Zaldivar and Brienna and Remington Campos inside.
Ciceron apologized to Zaldivar's father, who was in court.
"I'd like to apologize to you, sir, and your family for Alex Zaldivar. And, I'm sorry for my, you know, role with that. I know what I say won't bring him back, but I want to testify truthfully to bring you and your family closure. I'm sorry," said Ciceron.
Rafael Zaldivar told WFTV after the hearing that he believes Ciceron's apology was sincere, but also believes Ciceron has agreed to testify against his co-defendants to save himself from a possible life sentence.
If Ciceron does what he's agreed to, the 29-year-old will face a maximum sentence of only 15 years.
Ciceron was planning to go to the University of Central Florida for computer engineering after completing two years at Valencia College.
"I think it's because of Okafor. Okafor is a manipulator. He uses people that way. He used his girlfriend that way, he uses everyone that way, and that's what he's good at. He is a parasite," said Rafael Zaldivar.
Ciceron described how one of the murder suspects went back after the shooting to make sure all the victims were dead.
Prosecutors believe Okafor was able to kill Zaldivar while being on home confinement. The victim's father was upset because Okafor was not properly monitored by authorities.
"My son is dead because you did not follow up on this parasite!" Zaldivar said.
Holding his son's death certificate, Rafael Zaldivar demanded to know why Okafor was not taken back to jail for repeatedly violating home confinement before the murder.
"This is his death certificate. I want you to explain why I got this letter!" Zaldivar said. "Explain to me this document. Explain it to me, to my family and to everyone in this community."
Zaldivar then demanded that corrections chief Michael Tidwell be fired or forced to resign.
"You should be fired Mr. Tillman "You're running a zoo in there. It's a circus," Zaldivar said.
Okafor's mother is in jail on charges of trying to bribe the witnesses. But, when that didn't work, police said Ciceron helped Okafor carry out the plot to kill them.