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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Five men found slain last week in a north Shelby County apartment were beaten and shocked in a brutal murder-for-hire related to drugs and money

13:52 |

Four men were arrested Monday and charged with capital murder in the case: Alejandros Castaneda, 31, and Juan Francisco Castaneda, 25, brothers who live in Birmingham; Rodriguez Jaime Duenas, 22, of San Antonio; and Christopher Scott Jones, 40, of Birmingham. All are in the Shelby County Jail under no bond. Five men found slain last week in a north Shelby County apartment were beaten and shocked in a brutal murder-for-hire related to drugs and money, authorities said Tuesday. Four men have been charged with capital murder in the slayings, which Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry described during a news conference as being connected to a drug organization that transports cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. All the suspects either received or paid money in connection with the slayings, he said. Curry did not say how much the men were alleged to have been paid to do the killings, but he said the slayings may have been in retaliation for embezzling money from the drug organization. He said there are no books to check, but authorities believe the amount was in the neighborhood or $400,000 to $450,000, based on what they have been told. "It revolves around money, and that money revolves around drugs," Curry said. Curry said others may have been targeted for death and fled before authorities discovered the bodies. The bodies of Angel Horacio Vega-Gonzalez, 23, and his brother Gustavo Vega-Gonzalez, also known as Armando Lopez, 24; Ezequiel Rebollar-Terevan, 23; Jaime Echeverria, 30; and a fifth unidentified victim were discovered last Wednesday at Cahaba Lakes apartments off U.S. 280. Investigators believe that on Aug. 17 - three days before the discovery - the men were beaten and tortured with electric shocks, and their throats were cut, the sheriff said. Shelby County Coroner Diana Hawkins said her office is awaiting dental records to positively identify the fifth victim. Arrangements have been made by families to have the other four shipped to Mexico, Hawkins said.

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