A Philadelphia couple are being sought in a double homicide last month in Northern California, authorities said.
Robert Lee Randolph, 30, and Maria Teresa Lebron, 28, of Northeast Philadelphia, are wanted by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in an Oct. 15 triple shooting — in which two men were killed — in a home on Route 116 in rural Sebastopol, about 6o miles north of San Francisco. A third victim, a woman, is in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds, the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
Randolph and Lebron are believed to be on the lam in Philadelphia or New Jersey, authorities said.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the triple shooting went down like this:
On Oct. 13, Randolph and Lebron flew from Philadelphia to San Francisco. After renting a Hyundai Sonata, they met with Mariana, who had arranged a large marijuana transaction, the Sheriff's Office said.
Authorities believe the Philadelphia couple were to bring cash — about $100,000 to $200,000 — in exchange for 100 pounds of marijuana, which authorities believe they were expected to bring back to Philadelphia to sell, Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
On the evening of Oct. 15, Mariana took the couple to the Sebastopol home of Nathan Proto, 36, where the exchange was supposed to take place. About an hour into the meeting, authorities said, Randolph pulled out a handgun and shot Mariana, Proto, and the female friend of the two victims.
Randolph and Lebron then took a large amount of marijuana and an undisclosed amount of cash from Proto's home and fled in their rental car, the Sheriff's Office said. The couple flew back to Philadelphia on Oct. 17. It's believed they took the stolen drugs and cash to another location to be later transported or shipped back to Philadelphia, authorities said.
Crum said authorities do not know if Randolph and Lebron ever brought their share of the expected exchange — $100,000 to $200,000 — to the house.
He said detectives from the Sheriff's Office went to Philadelphia and South Jersey in late October looking for the couple in several homes, but did not find them. The couple are from Northeast Philadelphia, near Pennypack Park, and are also believed to have ties to Burlington County, he said.
The Sheriff's Office, along with other law-enforcement authorities, is still actively searching for the couple, he said.
Proto taught kindergarten and third grade in Cloverdale, Sonoma County, before starting his own business, an online obituary for him says. He died the night of the shooting.
The 23-year-old woman was shot in the head and is expected to survive, Crum said.
Mariana died from his wounds at a local hospital three days later.
Diane Mariana O'Connor, his aunt, said he had moved to California about five years ago, but returned home often to visit his family.
"He was home in August. He spent a couple weeks at the Shore with his dad," said O'Connor, who lives in Drexel Hill.
He was standout wrestler at Upper Darby High School and "just a great all-around kid," she said.
O'Connor said her nephew used to travel around the country following music festivals, and that is how he ended up in California.
"No matter what he was doing, nobody deserves to be shot in the head," she said.
Anyone with information about Randolph and Lebron's whereabouts is asked to call Detective Jeff Toney at 707-565-2650.
Randolph is described as black, about 5-foot-8, and 160 pounds. Lebron is described as Hispanic, about 5-foot-3, and 140 pounds.