An associate county medical examiner’s statement in the trial of Christopher Vasata, one of the suspects in the 2017 Super Bowl triple murder, took the courtroom by surprise on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Dr. Gertrude Juste, one of the three victims—Sean Henry—was shot 12 times, sometimes at very close range. She added that two of those shots were at close range to the 26-year-old’s head, and several were across his upper torso. Juste later reviewed the autopsy photos again and increased her estimate to 17 shots, stating that it can be difficult to determine where bullets enter and exit the body when someone is shot numerous times.
Neighbors along Mohawk Street in Jupiter also testified.
One of them, Jason Armentano, says, “All of a sudden, I heard what at first I thought might’ve been fireworks. It definitely sounded like gunshots. It sounded like a bunch of shots altogether.” In total, he says he heard eight to 10 gunshots.
— Al Pefley (@AlPefley) June 12, 2019
He adds that shortly thereafter, the host of the Super Bowl party where the murders occurred, Charles Vorpagel, ran into Armentano’s house and told him that his friends had been shot.
Armentano says Vorpagel’s behavior was, “Like he saw a ghost. He couldn’t talk.”
Another neighbor, Brindin Sieff, also says he heard gunshots, and that he noticed a Honda Accord leaving the scene at 1105 Mohawk Street as someone said, “We need to get in the f—king car now! We need to leave. The police are on their way.”
The trial of 26-year-old Vasata is expected to last around three weeks. Police believe that he and Marcus Steward also killed Kelli Doherty and Brandi-el Salhy during a drug dispute at that Super Bowl party.
If he is convicted, prosecutors say they intend to seek the death penalty. According to Vasata’s attorneys, their client was trying to make a truce among alleged drug dealers when the shootings took place.
Vorpagel later pleaded guilty to unrelated federal firearms and drug charges. He is serving an eight-year sentence.
Steward’s trial date has not been set.