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Man convicted in death of Broward County resident in 2021

Luis Valdez's sister Sophia also faces first-degree murder charge
Luis Valdez in the courtroom on July 31, 2023.jpg
Posted at 9:57 PM, Jul 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-01 12:57:42-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A 25-year-old West Palm Beach man was convicted Monday in the fatal shooting of a Broward County man nearly two years ago.

In West Palm Beach, a jury found Luis Valdez guilty of first-degree murder with a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm. Circuit Court Judge Howard Coates Jr. set sentencing for 11 a.m. on Aug. 22.

Jaytwan McNeal, 23, was killed in September 2021.

Jaytwan McNeal, missing man killed by Sophia and Luis Valdez
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office detectives say Jaytwan McNeal was killed by Sophia Valdez and her older brother, Luis Valdez.

Valdez sister, Sophia Valdez, 23, also is accused of first-degree murder but her trial date hasn't been set. The next court date is 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 24.

The siblings lived in the same mobile home park.

mobile home where Sophia and Luis Valdez live
This is the mobile home where Sophia and Luis Valdez live. Palm Beach County sheriff's detectives say Sophia Valdez drove Jaytwan McNeal to her residence before her brother shot and killed him.

McNeal was reported missing Sept. 25, 2021, four days after he was last seen on surveillance video walking away from his apartment complex in Oakland Park.

A tipster later told the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office that McNeal traveled north to Palm Beach County to meet with Sophia Valdez, a longtime friend and schoolmate.

The tipster claimed Valdez's older brother, Luis Valdez, shot and killed McNeal, wrapped his body in a blue tarp, loaded it into Sophia Valdez's car and then discarded it in a dumpster.