Twin brothers under house arrest on murder charges duct-taped a man and cut his face and toes demanding a ransom payment, authorities said.
On Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced 23-year-old twin brothers Devon Cooke and Donavan Cooke, of Miami Gardens, were charged with carjacking and kidnapping after they allegedly abducted and assaulted a man in an attempt to collect ransom money.
The brothers were under house house arrest on murder and attempted murder charges when the incident happened.
Authorities say on Tuesday the victim, who was not identified, drove to the twins’ home in Miami Gardens to collect money. When he arrived, the brothers assaulted him, snatched his car key and dragged him out of the car and into their house.
The brothers then bound him to a chair using duct tape and began beating him, authorities said. They used a knife to cut his face and toes and wrapped a dog leash around his neck, chocking him unconscious.
A witness told authorities they heard the man pleading for his life. The brothers threatened to kill him if he didn’t come up with the ransom money, the press release read.
With a gun to the man’s head, he was forced to make a call to an unknown person and told them to put cash, a Rolex and other jewelry into a bag and drive to a spot the twins designated.
An accomplice to the brothers then arrived at the home and stuffed the man into a car and took him to the exchange spot. Once there, the man ran away and the accomplice drove off with the ransom.
Authorities say investigation led by police officers led to the Cooke twins. FBI agents found some of the items used in the abduction and beating.
The twins are in federal custody and made their first appearance in Miami federal court Friday. Each brother faces up to 15 years in federal prison on the carjacking charge and life in prison on the kidnapping charge.
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