On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Being accused of a crime is a serious matter in Fort Lauderdale, especially when the allegations result in a felony charge. A judge can deny bail to any person charged with a felony, resulting in jail time even before the case goes to trial. Two robbery suspects from Lauderhill in Broward County recently found this out the hard way after being denied bail on a charge of felony murder.
According to the Broward County Sherriff’s Office, two young men in their early 20s from Lauderhill were caught on video surveillance committing a robbery outside the Cafe 27 Tiki Bar at approximately 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 20. The video shows the 20-year-old man discharging pepper spray into the face of another man, while his 21-year-old accomplice snatches the man’s silver chain and medallion from his neck.
The crowd outside the cafe scattered as pepper spray fumes dispersed throughout the area. The two robbery suspects then ran away, and the robbery victim retrieved a handgun from a car and chased after them.
According to the police report, a 28-year-old female bystander from Plantation inhaled the pepper spray fumes, struggled to breathe and cried out for help as she fell to the ground. On the way down, she hit her head on the bumper of a vehicle knocking her unconscious. It took 20 minutes for witnesses to realize she was unconscious and make a call for help.
The bystander had a heart condition, but she did not regain consciousness and died nine days later at Weston’s Cleveland Clinic.
One of the suspects turned himself in to the police, but the other was tracked down through a series of leads. Both were charged with felony murder and denied bail.
A murder charge is the most serious type of felony. Anyone accused of murder, especially when the death happened as an unintended consequence of an alleged underlying crime, should be careful to understand all the possible legal options before the case goes to court.
Sun Sentinel, “No bond for second suspect in deadly pepper spray robbery,” Wayne K. Roustan, Oct. 16, 2012