PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A man who faced three murder trials before being convicted in September will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Judge Shonna Young Gay ordered Abel Ortiz to serve two life sentences for murder and attempted robbery.
Ortiz was part of a group of men who killed Ed Ross during an attempted robbery at his Panama City Beach home in 2019.
Ortiz’s first trial in March ended with a hung jury. He was convicted in his second trial in July, but a judge ordered the third trial after the court discovered one of those jurors knew about the mistrial while serving.
Before Judge Gay sentenced Ortiz, she heard a statement written by Ed Ross’ father, Ken.
“In some way, your robbery was a success,” the statement read. “You robbed me of a son and the family that he would have had or of the joy of seeing him finally have a direction and purpose.”
Oritz’s father Miguel Robles also delivered an emotional statement about his son.
“I know my child, he’s got a great heart,” Robles said. “I’ll miss him.”
The court will recommend Ortiz serve his time at a facility in or near Bay County.
Because he was a minor when he committed the crimes, his sentence will be reviewed in 25 years.