A Florida man who had previously been charged with murder has been charged formally in the shooting death of a Palm Beach Lyft driver earlier this year.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said that Matthew Scott Flores, 36, who is accused of killing 43-year-old Jose Carlos Martinez on Jan. 24 in Hardee County, was indicted by an Okeechobee grand jury in connection with the death of 74-year-old Lyft driver Gary Levin.
He is charged with first-degree premeditated murder with a firearm, robbery with a handgun, and felon in possession of a firearm.
Flores was seen driving Levin’s red 2022 Kia Stinger in North Carolina on Feb. 2 when agents were investigating him in Martinez’s death, according to FOX 13 Tampa Bay.
Flores was linked to a stolen vehicle out of Orange County that was discovered in Lake Worth, where an acquaintance ordered him a Lyft ride to Okeechobee, which Levin picked up. Flores is suspected of fatally shooting Levin inside the automobile.
Levin went missing in south Florida after becoming “unreachable” on Jan. 30. On February 4, FDLE agents discovered his body in a wooded lot in Okeechobee County.
“Mr. Levin’s body had been cruelly dumped in the woods.” His assassination was cold. “It was senseless and completely unnecessary,” FDLE’s Eli Lawson said during a news conference on Wednesday. “Mr. Levin was a well-liked member of the Palm Beach community.” He is both a father and a buddy. His loved ones have been overcome with grief. That should never happen to anyone.”
Levin’s automobile was sighted in Miami, Okeechobee, and Gainesville after his abduction, according to the FDLE. It was eventually stopped in North Carolina on February 2 after a US Marshals regional task group alerted officials to be on the lookout.
Flores, the driver, allegedly led police on a three-county chase before they ran him off the road, causing the vehicle to crash. He was detained and charged with various offenses in Rutherford County, North Carolina, but prosecutors dropped the charges so that Florida authorities could pursue the murder allegations against him, according to Law & Crime.
According to court records, he was extradited to Florida last month to face charges in connection with Martinez’s murder, which include first-degree murder, grand theft auto, felon in possession of a handgun, and tampering with evidence.