MOORE HAVEN — Mario Monroy Hughes was murdered Jan. 31, 2014. On Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, a Moore Haven man accused of having Mr. Hughes killed was booked into the Glades County Jail.
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) delivered Artavistus Lyndrel Ware, 35, to Glades County on charges of first-degree murder with a firearm, conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with a victim/witness/informant, solicitation to commit murder, solicitation to commit tampering with a witness and burglary of a dwelling.
Bond had not been set as of newspaper deadline because Ware had not had his first-appearance hearing. Ware did not have an attorney as of newspaper deadline.
Ware was indicted by a Glades County grand jury Thursday, Jan. 26, in Moore Haven.
FDLE Special Agent Steven Harris said that 3 years ago, Mr. Hughes was set to testify against Ware in a drug case, but the state’s witness was gunned down before he got the chance. The agent declined to say what type of gun was used in the killing.
Ware was convicted on the drug charges nonetheless and has been in the Calhoun Correctional Institution in Blountstown since April of 2014.
Mr. Hughes, who was 31 at the time of his murder, was gunned down at his Park Avenue S.E. home in Moore Haven. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Glades County emergency medical personnel. Agent Harris said the man was shot multiple times.
Agent Harris, a former detective with the Glades County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO), has been on the case since day one, as has FDLE Special Agent Kevin Sapp. Agent Sapp is the lead investigator on the case.
Agent Harris said Tuesday he’s glad an arrest was finally made in the case.
“It’s a relief, and I’m glad we gave some closure for the family,” he sad. “But, there’s still a lot of work to do and we’re going to see it through to the end.”
Mr. Hughes was born in El Salvador but grew up in Moore Haven and graduated from Moore Haven High School in 2000. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve until his death.
He is survived by his three children, his parents, a grandmother, a brother and sister and several nieces and nephews.
According to the FDLE, Ware had Mr. Hughes killed to keep him from testifying.
Ware was convicted on eight felony drug charges including the sale of cocaine and the sale of schedule I and II narcotics. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
He will be prosecuted by assistant state’s attorneys Christopher Klink and J.D. Miller from the office of the state attorney for the 20th judicial circuit.
Agent Harris said despite this arrest, the investigation is continuing.
Special to Glades County Democrat