State to seek death sentence in 1990 Lake Worth murder

Jefer Negron
Jefer Negron

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the 49-year-old man charged with suffocating a Lake Worth woman 25 years ago while her 18-month old son was in the next room.

Jefer Negron was extradited from North Carolina last month after a grand jury indicted him in the 1990 slaying of Minerva Cantu.

Investigators say Negron entered Minerva Cantu’s home on the 400 block of North F Street  on Nov 27, 1990 and suffocated her in the living room. Her husband returned home from work and found her dead and their 18-month-old son unharmed in his crib.

Minerva Cantu
Minerva Cantu

Although Negron was initially a suspect, Lake Worth Police never arrested and the case went cold. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s cold case unit reopened the investigation in June 2014 and, according to court records, analyzed DNA samples and talked to witnesses who linked Negron to the murder.

Court records show prosecutors filed a notice that they were seeking the death penalty on July 7. Lasst week, Negron’s attorney, Seth Lawrence LaVay, asked Circuit Judge Dina Keever to set the case for a bond hearing.

The next hearing in the case is set for Aug. 9.

Corey Jones shooting: Nouman Raja posts bail, will stay overnight in jail

UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: Nouman Raja will spend another night in the Palm Beach County Jail, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s official.

Raja has met his $250,000 bond set Thursday morning, but he remains in jail while his home is outfitted to meet the requirements of house arrest, the official said.

Ex-officer Nouman Raja, charged with the shooting death of Corey Jones, enters court Thursday morning, June 2, 2016. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Ex-officer Nouman Raja, charged with the shooting death of Corey Jones, enters court Thursday morning, June 2, 2016. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

» RELATED: More coverage of the Corey Jones shooting

“It’s really just moving him from one cell to another cell,” the official said.

Raja, facing charges of manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted first-degree murder, is expected to leave the jail Friday.

— Staff writer Jorge Milian

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Former officer Nouman Raja remains in custody at the Palm Beach County Jail while the sheriff’s office sets up a monitoring system at his suburban Lake Worth home, a sheriff’s spokesperson said.

It isn’t yet clear whether Raja has posted bail, or when the monitoring system will be set up. Once the system is in place, Raja will be transported by deputies from the jail to his home, where he will remain on house arrest.

ORIGINAL STORY: A Palm Beach County judge on Thursday morning set bond for the former police officer who shot and killed musician Corey Jones at $250,000.

Nouman Raja appeared in handcuffs and blue prison garb before Circuit Judge Joseph Marx. Raja was arrested Wednesday and charged with first degree attempted murder and manslaughter by culpable negligence.

Other terms of Raja’s release: He is on house arrest with a GPS monitor, must surrender his passport, cannot work in law enforcement, must surrender any guns to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and must have no contact with the Jones family or with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.

Raja’s arraignment has been set for June 14 at 1:30 p.m.

Before Raja, 38, entered court, it was announced that prosecutors and Raja’s attorney, Richard Lubin, had reached an agreement on Raja’s bail.

Raja’s brother, Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Adnan Raja, sat in a bench on one side of the courtroom, while friends and family members of Jones sat on the other side.

This hearing comes less than a day after Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg announced that a grand jury had deemed Raja’s actions in Jones’ Oct. 18 shooting death unjustified, and that Aronberg’s office subsequently charged with the two felony counts for which he could face up to life in prison if convicted of both.

Raja was in plainclothes and drove an unmarked van when he approached Jones’ broken-down car on Interstate 95.

According to Raja’s arrest report, he never identified himself as a police officer and started shooting at Jones — who was on the phone with a roadside assistance call center — after repeatedly asking him if he was “good” before shouting at him to get his hands up.

Jones’ family members will hold a news conference at the courthouse at 11:30 a.m.

Sex offender already serving prison time gets 10 more years

Peter Eaffaldano

A 64-year-old sex offender earned a return trip to prison for 10 years Wednesday after he accepted a plea in a case where he is accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl he babysat.

Peter Eaffaldano pleaded guilty to a single charge of lewd and lascivious molestation in a case where a girl who now lives in New York told police that Eaffandano touched her in a sexual manner when she was four years old and he was her babysitter in Palm Beach County.

Between 2007 and 2010, several girls came forward and said Eaffaldano molested them, according to police reports. And he faced more charges after someone found a memory card at his former home that contained photos of him molesting other girls.

Court records show that he is also currently serving cu

Circuit Judge Krista Marx sentenced Eaffaldano Wednesday under the terms of a plea agreement with Assistant State Attorney Gregory Schiller, who told Marx that he’s promised Eaffaldano that prosecutors will not reopen any prior cases against him as part of the agreement.