Suspect indicted on multiple charges in connection with killing of South Florida Lyft driver
A 36-year-old man was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on charges of first-degree premeditated murder with a firearm, robbery with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with the January killing of a Lyft driver from South Florida.
OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, Fla. – A 36-year-old man was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on charges of first-degree premeditated murder with a firearm, robbery with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with the January killing of a Lyft driver from South Florida.
Mathew Scott Flores, of Wauchula, was indicted by a grand jury in Okeechobee County.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, FDLE special agents were assisting local law enforcement officials with a homicide investigation in January when they linked Flores to the murder of Gary Levin, 74, of Palm Beach Gardens.
Authorities said special agents in Fort Myers were also able to connect Flores to a vehicle stolen out of Orange County and found in Lake Worth.
According to detectives, Flores requested a Lyft ride on Jan. 30 to take him from Lake Worth to Okeechobee.
Police said Levin picked up Flores, but was reported missing two days later in Palm Beach Gardens.
FDLE agents later found Flores driving Levin’s car in Rutherford County, North Carolina, authorities confirmed.
Police said Flores led police on a brief chase, but was eventually taken into custody by the North Carolina Highway Patrol and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
Levin’s body was discovered in a wooded lot in Okeechobee County on Feb. 4.
“The crime was senseless, calculating, and cold,” Special Agent in Charge Eli Lawson said in a statement Wednesday. “Mr. Levin was a beloved member of the Palm Beach Gardens community. He was a father and a friend. His loved ones have experienced an insurmountable amount of grief that no one should ever have to go through.”
Flores was extradited from the Rutherford County Jail to the Hardee County Jail on Aug. 8. He is being held without bond.
The 19th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.