Sentenced to Life in Prison – Hendry County Murder

This morning Joe McCray, 48, was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of Mohammed Ansari, a taxi cab driver in Hendry County. McCray received the life sentence for the charge of Robbery with a Firearm Causing Death and was sentenced to 25 years in prison to be served concurrently on the charge of Manslaughter with a Firearm. He was found guilty at trial in March. 

In September 2015 two women hired Ansari, the victim, to drive them from the Miccosukee Indian Reservation in Miami to Okeechobee. They did not have money the $600 fare so the women called McCray and asked him to pick them up and drive them back to Miami. He agreed and the victim drove them to a Clewiston parking lot to meet McCray. 

When the women got into McCray’s car he got out, walked up to the taxi, and robbed the victim at gunpoint. When the victim resisted McCray shot him in the leg and stole approximately $16 in cash from him. The three left in McCray’s car while the victim was left bleeding on the ground. 

McCray then went home, changed his clothes, and switched cars. He also stopped at a convenience store and spent the stolen cash on beer. He then drove the women back to the reservation in Miami. The victim was found after a woman found him in the parking lot. He died a short time later from his injuries. 

As part of his sentence McCray must also pay various court costs, fines, and fees. He will also have to pay restitution to the victim’s family. 

Assistant State Attorneys John Dommerich Jr. and Abe Thornburg prosecuted the case.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office