Suspect in Winter Garden kidnapping, hostage ordeal: 'I never hurt them'

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.,None - On Thursday, prosecutors played the videotaped confession of a man as he admitted to allegedly torturing and robbing an Orange County family.

Victor Sanchez is the first of three suspects to be tried, and as the jury listened to the defendant cry on the recording, he started tearing up in court.

Sanchez broke down and cried after he told a Winter Garden police officer through another Spanish-speaking officer that he wanted forgiveness from the victims -- the husband, pregnant wife and autistic 5-year-old son he helped terrorize for two days.

Through an interpreter, Sanchez said, "I'm sorry, but I just did what they told me to do. I never hurt them."

He and three others are accused of kidnapping and robbing the Morais family, terrorizing and torturing them for two days with pistol-whippings, Russian roulette and murderous threats.

After his arrest, Sanchez admitted he had a gun, that he tied up at least one of the victims, and that he was expecting to get paid for it.

"He said they tricked him," his interpreter said.

Sanchez said he just did what he was told, but never said he was threatened as the defense now claims.

Sanchez would not give up the full names of the two people who got away.

After more than an hour of being reminded that they got away with all the stolen money, and would probably blame him for everything, he gave up the woman's name.

Police said Bianca Dos Santos came up with the plan after finding out about the victim's successful trucking company through her mother's business.

Computer records show she researched the Morais family days before the November 2009 attack. She is still on the run.

Sanchez appeared to be wiping away tears Thursday, but the jury was watching his confession on the big screen in Courtroom 6D.

The state expected to rest its case Thursday. The defense wouldn't say if it has any witnesses.

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