Suspect Who Let Partner Drown Nabbed 5 Years Later: Cops

'F--- you!' robbery suspect Juan Lahera allegedly yelled at accomplice in canal
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2017 12:20 PM CST

More than five years ago, a man's body was found floating in a Florida canal, thousands of dollars crammed into his pockets. That man was 27-year-old Samuel Howell, a robbery suspect who, along with his partner, had allegedly ripped off the home of a Sunrise resident in July 2011, fled the scene, and then jumped into the canal, despite Howell not knowing how to swim, the Sun Sentinel reports. His accomplice, Juan Lahera—who reportedly yelled "F--- you!" at Howell as the latter panicked upon realizing his lack of water skills—evaded authorities until November, when he was arrested in Arizona and subsequently extradited to Broward County. Howell's body was found three days after Lahera, also 27 at the time, ditched him in the canal.

During the robbery, the victim's dog was shot by Howell, notes the search warrant for Lahera. After Lahera got to the other side of the canal, he rushed to the roof of a local pizza joint, where he hid while calling a taxi to bring him to the apartment of a female informant. She told cops Lahera appeared at her door drenched and unable to say what had happened to Howell, who she says had made a trip from his New York home to help Lahera with the robbery. Lahera, who'd found a $3,000-a-month job working at a storage facility in Arizona, was charged with home invasion robbery with a firearm and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. A rep for the Broward state attorney said no proof could be found that Lahera had anything directly to do with Howell's drowning, so no charges are anticipated. (A man who allegedly cursed out a gator didn't live to tell the tale.)

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