Tears filled the eyes of the family of two teenagers after learning one of the people involved in their murders could get out of prison.
Ashley Toye was just 17 years old when she took part in the 2006 murders of 18-year-old Jeffrey Sosa and 14-year-old Alexis “Alex” Sosa in Cape Coral. Toye’s age is the reason why she will receive a new sentence instead of her original sentence of life in prison.
We spoke to the family of the two Sosa boys Thursday. The pain and disbelief in the family’s voices were evident.
“Right now, the wound that that was closing up in my heart is re-opening again,” said family member Michael Sosa.
The family wants to know why someone involved with kidnapping, torturing and killing get another chance.
Michael’s younger brother, Alex, and nephew, Jeffrey, were brutally murdered. Now, one of the people connected to their murders could get a chance to spend some of her life outside of prison. Toye, now 31 years old, is benefiting from a 2012 U.S Supreme Court ruling that bans mandatory life sentences for juveniles without a secondary hearing.
“It’s like an open wound again,” Michael said. “It’s going to give me a lot anxiety and depression. I’m not going to be able to sleep because of this now.”
Toye was 17 years old when she says the “Cash Feenz” gang forced her to take part in the murders of the two Sosa teens.
“The knife was handed to me,” Toye said in court back in 2015. “I didn’t know what to do at the time.”
But that’s no excuse for Alfredo Sosa, Jeffrey’s dad and Alex’s brother.
“It’s actually affected us for life,” Alfredo said. “I can’t think of any family that can recover from anything like this.”
The boys were beaten, had bleach poured over them, the gang’s letter carved into their skin with a knife and their bodies burned.
“Alexis and Jeffrey, they were good kids,” Alfredo said. “They lost the chance to be able to have kids of their own. I lost the opportunity of seeing my son being raised and marry somebody and have grandkids.”
Toye was convicted of first-degree felony murder. Now, on appeal, her life in prison sentence has been overturned.
“They’re no longer here they don’t have a chance to go back to any of these hearings,” Michael said. “Your life was done and over with the minute that these people participated in this crime.”
It will be up to the state attorney to propose a new sentence and set a date. The office has not shared comment with us.
But the family says the toll the original trial took on their family — seeing horrifying images of their loved ones, days in court — all feel like a waste.
“It’s really hard, I mean, it really makes me want to cry because it’s so hard that we knew we had justice,” Michael said. “And, now since 2006, they’re doing it again. They want to release that monster.”