Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

A 32-year-old Florida man was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty in the fatal shooting of a hotel guest in West Palm Beach in 2021, according to reports.

On Thursday, a jury convicted Claudio Ivan Valdiviezo Samayoa and Circuit Court Judge Daliah Weiss then sentenced him to the life sentence.

In his first trial that ended June 13, the jury couldn’t agree on whether he killed Drummond.

On the eve of his second trial, Assistant State Attorney Courtney Behar offered Samayoa a deal to manslaughter and 15 years in prison He declined.

At around 10:15 p.m. Oct. 15, 2021, 25-year-old Jamal Drummond was found face down in the parking lot of Holiday Inn Express, located at 2485 Metrocentre Blvd. Drummond was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the gunman ran to a waiting car after the shooting.

Investigators had the help of three witnesses, video and audio recordings from the hotel and the testimony of an Uber driver who took him there.

The driver, Enzo Ramirez, told investigators Samayoa paid him $100 to drop him off at the West Palm Beach hotel and wait for him at the gas station across the street. After 15 minutes Samayoa returned to the car.

According to the Probable Cause Affidavit, he was wandering around the Holiday inn Express using a cellular telephone to make phone calls.

Please say they talked to two witnesses who told them the suspect had walked up to them and Drummond while they were in the parking lot, smoking cigarettes. He asked them if someone had seen a young girl whose picture, he showed them on his phone.

All three people denied ever seeing the girl, and the survivors say the suspect began to peek into one of their cars which was nearby.

According to the affidavit, one witness said Drummond “chastised the suspect for ‘peeking’” into her car, “and the suspect wandered off into the hotel.”

Drummond was a guest at the hotel. A little while later, he walked out the front door of the hotel and,

Seconds later, shots ring out and the suspect can be seen running west through the hotel driveway.

Police say another witness told them she was able to see the suspect clearly and,

Would never forget what he looked like.
A few weeks later, in November, police got surveillance video “from the time just before the murder and the time after.” It wasn’t from the hotel but from the Race Trac gas station across the street.

Police say a man there matched the suspect from the hotel video “exactly in stature and clothing being worn,” including a “pouch” which had a long strap hanging off. The man was running to and entering a dark-colored Toyota Camry.

The only difference was he didn’t have a hat or COVID face mask.

The car stayed in a corner of the parking lot from before the deadly shooting to immediately after.

Then, the driver “immediately pulled out of the gas station” and “the tag was difficult to read.” Police were only able to read the fourth digit of the license plate. It was the letter “E.”

Then, police say they got search warrants from Google for location data from both the gas station and hotel. Later, by the middle of December, they were able to determine the cell phone was in the hotel parking lot for about ten minutes and then at the gas station for about ten more minutes. After that, the phone traveled east on 45th Street and southbound on I-95.

But police say they’d learned the owner of the phone was a man in Plantation. It turned out, that man had a 2020 Toyota Camry four-door with a license plate with the letter “E” as its fourth digit. Almost a month after the murder, police met that man at his home.

They say he remembered that night. He’d been working as an Uber driver, but a passenger asked him to work for cash, rather than the Uber platform.

He drove the passenger from a house in Hollywood to a hotel in West Palm Beach and had the passenger’s phone number from text messages. One contained the address of the hotel.

The driver also remembered waiting at the hotel, in his car, for about 20 minutes when the passenger returned. The affidavit says he asked the driver

to drive across the street to the gas station, have a soda and wait for him there.
According to the driver, after about 15 minutes, the passenger returned on foot and got back in the car. The affidavit said he

was very upset and crying as he conversed with someone on a cellular telephone.
Then, he drove to I-95 and headed south, dropping his passenger off at the same Hollywood address.

Police were “able to use various police computer programs and research tools to discover the name of an individual who has in the past used the phone number, which the suspect provided” the driver and it belonged to Claudio Ivan Valdiviezo Samayoa — who police ended up arresting on Wednesday.

According to the affidavit, Samayoa lived at that Hollywood address and had used the phone number “as a contact number upon various arrests.”

Police say booking photos of Valdiviezo Samayoa were almost an exact match, compared to the surveillance video of the suspect from the night of Mr. Drummond’s murder.

Then, three witnesses were able to pick Valdiviezo Samayoa’s picture from a lineup that contained several other people’s pictures.

And finally, police got a search warrant for the phone number and found it belonged to a person at the same Hollywood address as Valdiviezo Samayoa. In fact, police say they tracked the phone from Hollywood all the way to the hotel on the night of the murder.

They say on the night of the murder, Samayoa traveled from Hollywood to West Palm Beach with a gun. He had his driver leave the parking lot and wait for him across the street at the gas station to remove a possible witness and ensure he’d get a ride home to Hollywood after the murder.

Then, knowing he had a ‘getaway car’ waiting, Claudio Ivan Valdiviezo Samayoa killed Mr. Drummond, ran to [the driver’s] vehicle at the Race Trac gas station, and left the area.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born |