Lakeland woman awaiting trial in 2 Hillsborough deaths tried to have witness killed, deputies say

A 21-year-old Polk County woman held in a Hillsborough County jail in connection to two fatal shootings tried to have a witness in the case killed, deputies said Tuesday.

Fatima Garcia Avila, of Lakeland, was arrested on July 30, 2022, after the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said she helped her boyfriend, Daniel Negrete, fatally shoot 22-year-old Erica Negrete Aviles on July 18, 2022, in Dover. According to two arrest affidavits, the pair then conspired to kill Garcia Avila’s ex-boyfriend, 25-year-old Antonio Cuellar-Enriquez, in Thonotosassa and pin the young Dover mom’s death on him.

Daniel Negrete, 28, of Plant City, is cousins with Cornelio Negrete, the husband of Erica Negrete Aviles. Cornelio Negrete, 29, was shot on the same night as his wife and, in the immediate aftermath, he called for justice in her death. But a couple of weeks later, Cornelio Negrete had been arrested on charges in connection to his wife’s death, too.

All three have been held without bond since their arrests, jail records show.

During her time in jail, the Sheriff’s Office said Garcia Avila has tried “to solicit several inmates within the Falkenburg Road Jail to kill a prime witness in her homicide case.”

In addition to the charges she already faced, Garcia Avila now faces a charge of solicitation to commit murder, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Tuesday.