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As a young man held a gun to her head in the pool area of an east Orange County apartment complex, 19-year-old Jamie Kettering begged for her life, repeating the plea about seven times.
“Don’t do it,” she said.
But Jose Gabriel Torres Justiniano, the 18-year-old with whom she’d been arguing before he pulled a semiautomatic handgun, drew back the slide on the weapon, then fired two shots — the second directly into her head, according to an affidavit for Torres Justiniano’s arrest.
The affidavit, which the Orlando Sentinel requested in the days after the March 17 shooting, was made public this week. It details what led up to Kettering’s execution as well as how her alleged killer was identified.
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Torres Justiniano is facing a second-degree murder charge, which carries up to life in prison. He’s being held without bail at the Orange County Jail and is currently slated to stand trial in August.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Orange County deputies found Kettering dead in the Advenir at Polos East complex around 12:30 a.m. March 17, after a friend she’d met recently on SnapChat called to report he had left her there with a group of people to go to the store, then came back to find her dead.
Kettering’s body was lying on a lounge chair with a bullet wound to the left side of her head. She was wearing a dark colored fanny pack holding various narcotics and baggies, deputies said. The friend confirmed to investigators that she was involved in selling drugs.
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Through witness accounts, deputies homed in on Torres Justiniano, with whom friends said Kettering had been in an ongoing dispute over a phone she said he had stolen from her.
In an interview, Torres Justiniano confirmed he knew Jamie but said he wasn’t present when she was killed and hadn’t been at the pool that night. He said he’d left the complex after seeing her at the pool and returned about 2 a.m., going straight to his girlfriend’s apartment.
But there was a problem with that story, Deputy Scott Lowen noted in the affidavit: The complex was still blocked off by law enforcement vehicles at 2 a.m., so Torres Justiniano shouldn’t have been able to get in.
“I had arrived at the scene at approximately 0207 hrs and was unable to get close to the area due to all the police tape and cars blocking everything,” Lowen wrote.
According to the affidavit, surveillance video from the apartment complex and a nearby resident’s home helped deputies piece together what had actually happened. The slaying wasn’t visible in the footage, but the audio captured the argument between Kettering and her killer.
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Kettering accused Torres Justiniano of stealing her phone, marijuana and $300 in cash. He responded by telling her to “watch your tone” and “shut the [expletive] up.” Soon, she was begging for her life.
A pair of eyewitnesses confirmed what the recordings indicated and added additional details: Torres Justiniano, they said, first fired a shot behind Kettering, then held the gun to her head and killed her.
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