- By Hannah Winston Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Almost three weeks after Jair Major was shot and killed in front of his home near Lantana, Angel Tomas Valle sent someone a text message with a screenshot of a news article about the homicide.
“Baby they tryna take me away,” Valle wrote, according to court records.
“For what(?)” the other person replied.
“I got homicide,” Valle said. “(Detectives) on my trail.”
Valle, 25, was arrested Tuesday on one count of murder in connection to the Dec. 19 fatal shooting of Major. He refused to appear for his first appearance in court both Wednesday and Thursday mornings. He will be held without bail until his next court hearing.
This is the second arrest in the fatal shooting of Major, 25, an aspiring hip-hop artist who performed under the name Jay Montana. Richard Anderson, 31, was arrested on Jan. 18. Valle was mentioned in Anderson’s arrest report as being involved in the shooting, but it’s unclear why he was not arrested on those charges at that time.
At about 10 a.m. Dec. 19, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Anderson and Valle went to Major’s residence, on Florence Road near the Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area, allegedly to buy $700 worth of drugs. Major told his fiancee, La’Virgil Stewart, that he had a bad feeling about it, according to authorities.
Major told Stewart he didn’t like to sell that much and that the person asking for it didn’t normally buy that much. According to the report, Major told her to grab a baseball bat in case something happened.
Stewart told authorities that after Major let Anderson and Valle inside the home, there was a fight. She said one man, later identified as Anderson, ran out the door and she went after another man, later identified as Valle, with the bat. Soon afterward, Anderson came back into house and shot her in the chest.
The two men ran out and Major chased after them. He was shot and killed in his driveway, the sheriff’s office said. Two women who sat and waited inside the car in which Anderson and Valle fled confirmed to investigators what happened that morning.
Major went to Full Sail University in Orlando and studied recording arts, according to a college friend, who remembered him as a “good, laid-back, funny” person. Major was one of 100 people killed in Palm Beach County in 2017, according to a Palm Beach Post database.
A few weeks after the shooting, Valle was arrested on separate charges of resisting an officer without violence and being a felon in possession of a weapon, according to court records on Jan. 9. Investigators say he asked his ex-girlfriend to buy him ammunition, which his previous felony convictions do not allow. Valle has a history of convictions including possession of oxycodone and grand theft.
With a search warrant, investigators went through Valle’s phone on Jan. 12, according to the report. In text messages he told at least two people he might be in trouble for Major’s death.
“What you up to fool?” one unidentified person asked Valle.
“Look I might be gone for a while, ” he replied.
“Damn, (expletive) why?” the person asked.
Valle then shared the screenshot of the story about Major’s death.