Florida man murdered in sex-for-hire car theft gone wrong, suspect said he took part in attack for free drugs and sex

A Florida man and woman have been charged with murder after a man was found dead in an alleged sex-for-hire scheme to steal a vehicle that went fatally wrong, according to police.

Jessica Long, 37, and Michael Montgomery, 47, were charged with murder for the deadly incident that unfolded on June 27, 2023. Montgomery is facing additional charges, including parole violation, resisting arrest, and aggravated battery.

Police found the dead body of 40-year-old Wayne Barlow on the side of the road in Marion County, Florida.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office noted that the death appeared “suspicious.”

Barlow had been shot in the head, strangled, and suffered from blunt force trauma, according to the Fifth District Medical Examiner’s Office.

Investigators allegedly found text messages between Barlow and Long discussing plans to meet in a wooded area to engage in sex, according to an arrest affidavit. Barlow reportedly told the woman that he would pay for the sex, and he sent Long $80 through the Cash App.

Long gave Montgomery a “signal” that meant “it was time to go ahead with the plan,” according to the affidavit. The plan reportedly was for Montgomery – said to be “the muscle” in the heist – to strongarm Barlow while Long was having sex with the unsuspecting Florida man, and the pair would then steal his car.

Barlow met Long in a secluded area of the Regal Park neighborhood of Ocala. However, the alleged car theft went awry in a deadly way.

“Montgomery then pulled Barlow from the vehicle and assaulted him with a pipe-like object,” the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday. “Witnesses reported that Montgomery tried to run over Barlow, then approached and shot him.”

“Make sure he’s dead,” Long said, according to the affidavit.

The couple allegedly went to a nearby Family Dollar to buy bleach and other supplies to clean up.

WOFL reported, “Deputies also found trash in a dumpster behind the Aquatic Center in Ocala that contained a towel with suspected blood on it, paperwork with Barlow’s name on it and a black C02 BB Gun pistol – a replica of a real handgun – with a grip missing. That grip was found near Barlow’s body.”

Deputies later found a black and silver Phoenix Arms .22 caliber handgun roughly 30 feet from where Barlow’s body was found, according to police.

The arrest affidavit stated, “Montgomery advised that things did not go according to plan.”

Montgomery allegedly took part in the violent car robbery for free drugs and sex.

“Montgomery advised he took part in the attack on the victim for a couple reasons and those reasons were for free drugs and for sex he didn’t have to pay for,” the affidavit noted.

According to arrest records, Long was previously arrested for grand theft, resisting arrest, prostitution, and drug possession.

Long and Montgomery are both being held at the Marion County Jail without bond.

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