Christopher Vasata is on trial for three murders, an attempted murder, and the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He also stole a car, according to police.
On February 5th of 2017, Jupiter police responded to a call saying that shots had been fired in a Jupiter neighborhood. Police arrived to find three dead around a fire pit in the backyard. After the shooting, police claim that Vasata stole one of the victim’s cars and fled the scene, leaving it abandoned on I-95. Near the abandoned vehicle, police say they also found a rifle, a black hoodie, a revolver, and a pair of gloves, and a set of keys stuffed into a storm drain. The keys were linked to a BMW that is alleged to have dropped off Vasata.
According to the party’s host, masked men entered the residence and began shooting. The question, of course, is why?
Party’s Host Found with Drugs and Guns
The defense is leaning heavily on the fact that the party’s host, Charles Vorpagel, had an undisclosed amount of drugs and guns on his property. They are painting Vorpagel as a likely target for the hit. According to the defense, Vorpagel is a drug dealer, and, thus far, has provided the jury with the only likely motive for the attack. The question then becomes: How do they tie Vasata directly to the shooting?
While there is evidence that Vasata knew Vorpagel as both were drug and gun dealers, information tying Vasata directly to the killing appears sparse. Texts mined from Vorpagel’s phone records indicate that someone had robbed a friend of his to whom he had shipped “600 Xanax and 600 lbs” along with surveillance cameras and modems. Vorpagel never mentioned any names in conjunction with these texts and it’s unclear as to what he told police in conjunction with the hit. It remains likely that Vorpagel was the target of the hit and Vasata’s motive would be drug- or business-related.
Police also have phone records of Vasata sending a text to another suspect in the case, Marcus Steward. Hours before the shooting, Steward texted Vasata saying he was “On his way now.”
Does This Add Up to a Proven Case?
It did, as a matter of fact. Vasata was convicted on all charges and now faces the death penalty. The major fact tying Vasata to the crime is that the police were able to pin him to the scene and jurors agreed. Vasata’s attorneys attempted to explain this away by claiming that Vasata was there to parlay with Vorpagel. Jurors were not convinced of this explanation as the men approached the home in masks and hoodies brandishing weapons and shooting first.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re being charged with a crime in West Palm Beach, you do have options. The West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at the Skier Law Firm, P.A. can help you resolve the case, get a deal, or get the charges dismissed completely. Talk to us today to set up an appointment.