Tag Archives: miami criminal attorney

DCF worker in Rilya’s case testifies in court

The first indication of trouble came in the form of Rilya Wilson’s case file: It seemed unusually thin.

State child welfare worker Dora Betancourt, who took over the 5-year-old foster child case in April 2002, examined the paperwork and noticed that no one had checked on Rilya in more than a year.

After a series of phone messages to Rilya’s foster mother, Betancourt came face-to-face with Geralyn Graham in the driveway of her Kendall home.

“Where’s Rilya?” Betancourt asked.

“Oh, I thought you were bringing her back,” Graham said, according to Betancourt, who testified Wednesday during Graham’s murder trial in Rilya’s disappearance.

Betancourt told jurors Wednesday that Graham’s story unfolded in a bizarre and confusing fashion. She said an unnamed Department of Children and Families worker whisked the 5-year-old away for some sort of mental health evaluation more than a year before

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/05/3127856/employee-who-discovered-rilya.html

"Stand Your Ground" In the News Again

Ernesto Che Vino, the Miami-Dade homeowner cleared of assaulting two utility company workers under the state’s controversial self-defense law, is back behind bars — this time, police say, for raping his neighbor.

His case drew headlines in November 2010 when a judge, citing the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, ruled Vino was justified in pointing his rifle at two Florida & Power Light workers trying to shut off his electricity.

The utility company, which has the legal right to enter a property to shut off delinquent accounts, protested the decision. After the judge’s ruling, the company added undisclosed extra “security measures” when turning off powerr to homes.

Vino, 44, was arrested last week and charged with sexual battery. His 22-year-old neighbor told Miami-Dade detectives that Vino “covered her mouth with his hand to keep her from screaming,” then threatened to punch her before raping her, according to an arrest report.

Miami Rapper Bizzle Shot in front of Liberty City Car Wash

Robert Labranche was arrested 27 times, spent much of his early life in and out of jail and was so poor that he said he used to eat garbage while growing up in Liberty City.

But by the time he was in his mid-20s, Labranche had reinvented himself as a South Florida rapper named “Bizzle,” He was an entrepreneur known for paying it forward by helping to get kids in his community off the street.

He owned a car wash, an entertainment company, a window-tinting business and at one time ran a seafood restaurant. He was a father of two small children, whose last message about them would prove prophetic.

Labranche, 37, was shot multiple times Monday night outside his Liberty City car wash with his children in his SUV, parked just steps away. They were not injured and did not see their father killed, police said.

Labranche, whose music is popular in Miami-area strip clubs, created his own record label, Chowtime Entertainment in 2000. Two of his songs,  Lip-biting Animal, and  Naked Hustle, were considered strip-club anthems. He used social media to promote the songs, which were widely played in Florida nightclubs. He also organized massive parties aboard yachts and at clubs, featuring DJs and exotic dancers.

Jurors in Brewer burning case to go before judge

Three years to the day after a group of Deerfield Beach Middle School classmates doused Michael Brewer with rubbing alcohol and set him on fire, nearly killing Brewer, a Broward judge will interview six jurors  about their June deliberations before reaching a guilty verdict against the teen accused of inciting the attack.

Jurors’ responses could lead to a new trial for Matthew Bent, 18, who was found guilty of aggravated battery for his role in the attack, and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry recalled the jurors after defense attorneys moved for a new trial based on allegations by the jury forewoman, who alleged that fellow jurors in the trial began discussing the facts and reaching conclusions before closing arguments.

“The record is incomplete with regard to whether jurors began their deliberations early,’’ Destry said at a September hearing.

Destry also has yet to rule on Bent’s motion for acquittal, which is based on defense attorneys’ claims that there was insufficient evidence to prove that any of the teens involved in the attack intended to set Brewer on fire.

Pedro Bravo indicted for murder and kidnapping in disappearance of Christian Aguilar

On Tuesday, as more charges were brought against his son’s accused killer, Carlos Aguilar kept searching.

It had been 19 days since Christian Aguilar disappeared somewhere in Gainesville. More than two weeks had passed since police arrested the accused killer, a former high school friend of Christian Aguilar’s from Doral Academy Preparatory School.

Then came Tuesday, when a grand jury reaffirmed the murder charge against Pedro Bravo and added another — kidnapping.

But Christian Aguilar’s body was still missing.

Hours after hearing the grand jury’s decision announced, Carlos Aguilar returned to another patch of woods to search, again. The added charge did not deliver what he needed most.

“I haven’t found my son. What I’m looking for is to find my son, so I can get everything ready with my family,” Carlos Aguilar said. “That’s what I really need.”