DELTONA, Fla. — Months after a teenager was accused and jailed for committing crimes in three different Central Florida counties, prosecutors are officially moving to charge him with the most serious offense he’s expected to face.
Investigators said Jonny Santiago, then 18, shot and killed his father at the family’s house in Deltona before dumping the body near the shore of a lake in western Orange County in July.
Law enforcement caught up with Santiago during a high-speed chase in Lake County that ended with Santiago’s truck crashing into a synagogue in Mount Dora and a shootout.
Since then, Santiago has been in Lake County’s jail without bond to face charges there and awaits a transfer to Volusia County.
Tuesday, sources connected to the situation said the wait for his transfer may be nearing an end. The 7th Circuit State Attorney’s Office has requested Santiago be moved to Volusia County’s jail ahead of an arraignment.
A source said the charge would be second-degree murder, which can carry a life sentence in prison. The charge was expected by all sides following Santiago’s arrest.
“We look forward to maintaining my client’s innocence,” Brian Pakett, Santiago’s attorney, said when reached for comment Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for the State Attorney wouldn’t provide details, only saying they had been working on the transfer process for a while.
Records for Santiago’s new charge are currently sealed in Volusia County’s court system, but people familiar with the process said a date for Santiago’s arraignment has not been set.
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