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Jury finds woman guilty of capital murder in connection with veteran’s death

Stephanie Fernandez is one of five people accused in the death of 23-year-old Tyler Kaden Croke.

A jury has found Stephanie Fernandez guilty of capital murder for her role in the death of Tyler Kaden Croke.

Fernandez is one of five people accused in Croke’s death, and she received an automatic life sentence.

Croke, 23, was stabbed to death in the Cantera Apartments on Lomaland Drive in May.

Police said Croke died after a robbery over drugs.

The defense finished closing arguments Friday morning.

Fernandez admitted to police she was driving the getaway car.

The state said the group had a plan to break into Croke’s apartment and rob him saying, “If they thought no one was home, why did they bring guns? Why did they bring masks? They knew there was a possibility someone was inside.”

The state said Fernandez is guilty of aggravated robbery without question and contends she is guilty of capital murder because Croke would still be alive if it weren’t for Fernandez.

The defense said there’s not enough evidence to convict her of capital murder because El Paso police cut corners during their investigation saying, “Tyler’s death is a tragedy. The way EPPD handled it was an embarrassment.”

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