Florida woman’s iPhone catches her killer - Macenstein

Florida woman’s iPhone catches her killer

When the body of 39 year-old lawyer Melissa Lewis was pulled from a canal off State Road 84, police had little information to go on. All signs pointed to her murder being a random act of violence, however thanks to her killer’s inability to resist her stolen iPhone, police were able to track and capture Tony Villegas, the ex-husband of Lewis’ best friend Debra Villegas whom she’d been helping plan a will.

With the help of AT&T, police were able to track Lewis’ missing iPhone using cellphone towers over a 3 day period. The phone began moving west the night she was killed, and eventually police were able to pinpoint its location at the Florida East Coast Railway in Fort Lauderdale, where Villegas worked as a train conductor. Police also found a telling e-mail Lewis wrote to a fellow lawyer in which she says of Debra Villegas ”Her ex-husband is nuts… To be on the safe side, she wants to be sure she designates who gets her children if he hurts her and goes to jail. Seems extreme but you have NO IDEA what is going on and restraining orders are worthless.”

If there’s any good news to come from this, it is odds are Villegas will get the death penalty, and Florida is one of the few states outside of Texas that actually seems to follow through on those. Must be a Bush thing.
Thanks to faithful Macenstein reader Jonro for the tip!
[via the Miami Herald]

27 Responses to “Florida woman’s iPhone catches her killer”
  1. Rowlings says:

    What an asswipe.
    He even looks like an asswipe.

  2. Robin says:

    I wouldn’t call a death penalty ‘good news’, but nice story.

  3. EuropeanGuy says:

    Death penalty a good news … world must have gone crazy …

  4. Uber Eterpay says:

    I’d call the Death Penalty good news!

    THey ought to burn the fucker. Or at least his nuts. Yeah!

    Just burn the thing that people say you are… Nuts, a prick, a dick, an asshole…

    That’s about all I could come up with.

    I’m still all for the death penalty though. Less strain on m taxes. California needs to do more killing.


  5. Well, honestly I was going to say the good news was at least they found her iPhone. But that seemed a bit wrong.
    -The Doc

  6. Anonymous says:

    Florida not Flordia.

  7. Thanks Anonymous.
    -The Doc

  8. lh says:

    Yes the death penalty is a necessary tool in a just society.

  9. Dave-O says:

    Seems to me the fact that he was caught is the good news. I am not comforted at all by the death penalty (not that I’m broken-hearted abut it…).

    @lh, there are plenty of countries (for example the UK) that might not appreciate your assertion that they aren’t just.

  10. Killer's Dad says:

    Hmmm, when the death penalty is outlawed? Only outlaws will put people to death?

  11. Ronjamin says:

    If you really want to torture this asshole, it would be better to make him spend the rest of his days in jail, where his masters will tell him when to wake, tell him when to exercise, tell him when to eat, tell him when to work, tell him when to sleep.

    I like the idea of him spending 60 years or whatever is left of his life as, essentially, a slave, a obeyer of strict rules, behind bars, never to experience freedom again.

  12. Rowlings says:

    hmmm.. I think a more effective torture would be
    – cut off his eyelids
    – cut off each of his fingers
    – pull out all his teeth
    – burn his feet in frying pans of cooking oil
    – break his legs
    – cut out his tounge
    – cut off his ears
    – set him on fire

    But I suppose being told when to eat is bad too.

  13. Hindsight says:

    The idea of torture probably wouldn’t deter murder and the idea of state sponsored torture violates the bill of rights in spite of what you see on TV and what the Bush administration condones. I’m all for the death penalty though. Paying tax money (which could theoretically be used for good rather than paying for unnecessary wars, etc) to keep brutal murderers alive is immoral and illogical. It’s simple. What an odd and stupid thing to do, keeping her phone.

  14. Pauldy says:

    Hindsight as if your personal politics weren’t clue enough as to your misdirected morality, you really feel the need to single out the theft of a possession as the highlight of what was stupid rather than the cold blooded murder he committed. This isn’t the first time a murderer was caught with an item stolen from the victim either, although it may be the first time with an iPhone.

  15. Zorin says:

    How is the death penalty unjust?

    If you don’t want to be executed, DON’T FREAKING KILL PEOPLE! It’s that simple. The death penalty is only handed out for the most severe, horrible crimes around. If someone doesn’t want to be subject to it, all they have to do is NOT COMMIT THE CRIME.

    First-degree murder is a voluntary act. This man chose to kill someone, how is executing him unjust?

    I don’t want to spend my tax dollars keeping him alive.

  16. Choo says:

    D’uh. That hurts. Nearly everyone for the death penalty here?! And even some for torture!?!
    Something I really don’t understand, is, why seemingly so many of you long for bloody revenge even though they are not personally affected. What should that be good for? Do you long for a more sadistic, cruel world or what?

    I don’t get it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Heh… some of the readers here seem to be a bit… insane/bloodthirsty/utterly sadistic.

    This guy certainly seems like an unpleasant character… but killing or torturing him is no right of the state.

  18. Just? says:

    @Ronjamin: So torture is being able to sleep, getting fed three meals a day, getting exercise, and going to work? No, the real torture the inmates have to deal with is each other and the many years they spend dealing with what they did, but the question is do they even care? They have some of the basic necessities of life when in prison, and depending on their mental state I would suppose some don’t even care what they’ve done or at least they are okay with it. They went through with it after all.

    They should be forced to face what they did every second they are in that prison. I’m not one for the death penalty, but these people need to be taught a lesson. He took a life for crying out loud! He should never be able to forget that. He should never be able to feel comfortable or safe again. He should know what it feels like to be on the other side. What the woman he killed felt like while she was being murdered.

    You send a message and you make it clear. This shit can’t happen any longer. They will start hearing you.

  19. iburl says:

    The death penalty is abhorrent and it dehumanizes us all by making us all participants in state-sponsored murder. Just sayin’,

  20. R says:

    Don’t worry, guys– he’ll be living off of tax payers for a good 25 years yet and will have plenty of time to die of natural causes. And, even better– for a significant time, this guy is lucky enough to be someone else’s mac chick.

  21. Andy says:

    The pro death penalty stance that it is less expensive to put someone to death than keep them in prison for life is not usually valid in the US. Imprisonment during trial and appeals (which can take decades), legal fees paid by taxpayers for defense and other costs all add up to more than it would cost to keep someone in prison for life. Just google “us death penalty cost” for plenty of info on the issue. Here are some quotes:

    A Duke University study found… “The death penalty costs North Carolina $2.16 million per execution over the costs of a non-death penalty murder case with a sentence of imprisonment for life.” ( The costs of processing murder cases in North Carolina / Philip J. Cook, Donna B. Slawson ; with the assistance of Lori A. Gries. [Durham, NC] : Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, 1993.)

    “A 1991 study of the Texas criminal justice system estimated the cost of appealing capital murder at $2,316,655. In contrast, the cost of housing a prisoner in a Texas maximum security prison single cell for 40 years is estimated at $750,000.” (Punishment and the Death Penalty, edited by Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum 1995 p.109 )

    “Florida spent an estimated $57 million on the death penalty from 1973 to 1988 to achieve 18 executions – that is an average of $3.2 million per execution.”
    (Miami Herald, July 10, 1988).

    “Florida calculated that each execution there costs some $3.18 million. If incarceration is estimated to cost $17000/year, a comparable statistic for life in prison of 40 years would be $680,000.”
    (The Geography of Execution… The Capital Punishment Quagmire in America, Keith Harries and Derral Cheatwood 1997 p.6)

  22. m says:

    not that anyone would care, but i’d like to let you know today is the last time i’ve come to this site. i’m not interested in dealing with people who call death penalty “good news”. ever wondered why the u.s. is so much more violent than any other democratic society in the world?
    i’ve read macenstein for a few years on a daily basis, not anymore.

  23. scotts13 says:

    I just KNEW someone would come up with the “death penalty is more expensive” silliness. The solution there is not to eliminate an appropriate penalty, but to minimize the number and cost of appeals. After all, if tires for your car are too expensive, you don’t just say “I won’t use tires anymore.”

  24. Dude says:

    Good call, scotts13. Let’s throw out the rest of the Constitution while we’re at it.

  25. Moi says:

    you do realize that Bush isn’t the governor of Florida anymore right?

  26. Moi, next thing you’ll be telling me George Bush isn’t still Governor of Texas…
    -The Doc

  27. EuropeanGuy_Again says:

    @m, well, I think I agree with you?. I’ve been reading macenstein for a few weeks now, and I guess this is it.

    I’m litterally shocked with the “arguments” I’ve found here for death penalty, it is just not understandable.

    Not so sure this is a European vs US kind of thing …

Leave A Comment


Click here to inquire about making a fortune by advertising your game, gadget, or site on Macenstein.