SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota man has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of second degree murder committed last October.
A jury found 31-year-old Daniel Davenport guilty in May for the murder of 55-year-old Sergio Hostins. They also found him guilty on 12 additional charges, including Grand Theft of Hostins’ vehicle and unlawful possession of his personal identification with intent to use it fraudulently.
But at his sentencing Thursday morning, Davenport maintained his innocence. He read a letter that detailed how he met 55-year-old Sergio Hostins and the events that he said led up to the man’s death.
Davenport claimed the two were working on re-modeling a home together, when Hostins asked him to go buy them drinks. When Davenport returned, he said he found Hostins dead on the floor and fled out of fear of being arrested for murder.
After more than a week on the run in late October, Davenport was caught in Orlando by sheriff’s deputies working with U.S. Marshals.
The sheriff’s office began searching for Davenport after Hostins’ body was found in a home being remodeled in Naples by construction workers on Tuesday, October 9. Hostins’ body had been wrapped in carpeting, A/C duct wrap and plastic bags.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office learned through an autopsy that Hostins had been murdered but could not identify him as his fingerprints were not in the database. However, a fingerprint at the home on one of the bags Hostins' body was in connected Davenport to the case.
Deputies learned from the contractor at the property that Davenport had been hired to remove trees at the Naples home and that he had driven a green Subaru Forester there on Monday, October 8, the same day Hostins and his green Subaru Forester had been reported missing in Sarasota.
Deputies in Collier County then turned the case over to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
In Sarasota, deputies interviewed witnesses, including Davenport's brother-in-law, who told deputies that Davenport came to him on Sunday, October 7 and asked "how far offshore would you have to go to dump something so it would not be found" adding he had "a body he needed to get rid of."
Deputies were granted a search warrant to enter Davenport's home. Inside, they say they found carpeting, A/C wrap and bags like those used to conceal Hostins' body.
Then they searched Hostins' apartment on Medici Court. Inside, they found an iPad that showed Hostins and Davenport had been communicating on October 4 and nude images of Davenport were taken the same day. Hostins was not seen alive again after October 4.
An arrest warrant was issued for Davenport on Thursday, October 11. He was spotted in both the Tampa and Orlando areas driving Hostins' vehicle.
Judge Stephen Walker sentenced Davenport to life in prison with an additional five years for each additional charge, to be served at the same time as his life in prison.