BREAKING: Key figure in Jupiter triple homicides pleads to gun charges


Charles Vorpagel, at whose rented Jupiter home three people were slain on Super Bowl Sunday, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two federal offenses in an agreement that guarantees he will spend at least five years in prison.

Vorpagel, 28, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking case, a charge that brings a minimum of five years and a maximum of a life sentence, plus five years of probation.

He also plead guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a charge that can bring up to 10 years in prison and three years of probation.

Vorpagel could be required to pay fines of $250,000 on both counts.

No bond for second man arrested in Jupiter triple murder

In 2010, Vorpagel was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to nine months of confinement and probation.

A grand jury also charged Vorpagel with possession of a controlled substance. Federal officials said they would seek to dismiss that charge at sentencing. No sentencing date had been set as of Wednesday afternoon. Vorpagel will be sentenced by Judge Robin L. Rosenberg.

Vorpagel’s attorney, Robert Franklin, asked Judge James M. Hopkins to recommend that Vorpagel be moved from the Palm Beach County Jail to the Federal Detention Center in Miami. Franklin said Vorpagel has had contact with Christopher Vasata of Jupiter, who is facing first-degree murder charges in the slayings, while at the jail, and he said he is afraid Vorpagel also will have contact with Marcus Steward of Riviera Beach, who was arrested on similar charges Tuesday.

Aside from three counts of first-degree murder, Vasata is also facing a charge of attempted murder for allegedly trying to kill Vorpagel. Franklin did not divulge the nature of Vorpagel’s contact with Vasata in jail.

Drugs at core of Jupiter triple homicides, documents show

Vorpagel’s family — including his father, Jeffrey, in whose name the Mohawk Street home was rented — were in the courtroom Wednesday but made no comment as they left.

Charles Vorpagel, bearded and wearing a dark blue jail jumpsuit while shackled around his waist, ankles and wrists, waved to his father as he left the courtroom.

Kelli J. Doherty, 20, of Tequesta, Sean P. Henry, 25, of Jupiter and Brandi El-Salhy, 24, of Gainesville were found shot to death just before 11 p.m. Feb. 5 after a party at the home that Vorpagel rented.

Vorpagel told investigators that he was able to get away from the scene during the shootings by jumping a fence and hiding until the “three or four masked people” fled the home.

Jupiter police found guns, ammunition and drugs after being called to the home following the shootings.

After that discovery, the FBI was called to the home and agents found a total of six guns, including an assault rifle and a loaded semi-automatic pistol, along with 16 types of ammunition, more than three pounds of marijuana and 914 Xanax pills among other drugs.

Vorpagel told investigators he dealt drugs from the home, located in the Jupter River Estates neighborhood east of Maplewood Drive and north of Toney Penna Drive.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

BREAKING: Man in jail on attempted homicide charge arrested in November carjacking
BREAKING: Man in jail on attempted homicide charge arrested in November carjacking

A Belle Glade man currently in jail on an attempted-murder charge has been arrested for a November armed carjacking in suburban West Palm Beach, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Willie Felton, 25, was also accused of allegedly killing a Pahokee football player in 2008, but the state dropped those charges, citing a lack...
Police: Florida man tasered after walking naked through neighborhood carrying cooking oil
Police: Florida man tasered after walking naked through neighborhood carrying cooking oil

A Florida man was arrested Thursday for allegedly walking naked through a neighborhood during a rainstorm and carrying cooking oil, the Pensacola News Journal reported. Joseph John Musso, 63, was charged with loitering and prowling, lewd and lascivious behavior, resisting an officer without violence and exposure of sexual organs, the Santa Rosa...
Aimovig: New migraine prevention drug approved by FDA
Aimovig: New migraine prevention drug approved by FDA

If you suffer from chronic migraines, relief is here. According to The Associated Press, the Food and Drug Administration last week approved Aimovig, a monthly shot that aims to reduce migraines. The drug, developed by Amgen Inc. and Novartis AG, is "injected monthly just under the skin using a pen-like device," the AP reported. Its...
Chrissy Teigen, John Legend share first photo, reveal name of newborn son
Chrissy Teigen, John Legend share first photo, reveal name of newborn son

Aww! Model, TV host and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen took to Instagram on Sunday to share a sweet photo and reveal the name of her newborn son. "Hello, world! This is Miles Theodore Stephens," Teigen wrote. "We are drowning in his little peeps and nuzzles. Our household feels overwhelmed with love. Thank you for all your well...
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry donate royal wedding flowers to hospice patients
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry donate royal wedding flowers to hospice patients

Patients at St. Joseph's Hospice in London received a special gift after Saturday's royal wedding. According to People magazine, Britain's Prince Harry and bride Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, gave the hospice some flowers that had been used to decorate St. George's Chapel for their ceremony. "Today we got a very special delivery. Beautiful...
More Stories