The mother of a girl who was killed after she was snatched from South Beach and raped says a judge's decision in the case is forcing her to speak publicly about what she says is a failure of the system.
Margarita Osorio has stayed out of the public eye and has rarely left her home since her 18-year-old daughter, Ana Maria Angel, was kidnapped and killed four years ago.
Police arrested four men and a teenager who they say killed Angel and beat and stabbed her boyfriend, 18-year-old Nelson "Eddy" Portobanco. He was dumped on Interstate 95 in Pompano Beach. He survived having his throat slashed and 15 stab wounds.
Angel's body was found lying near the interstate in south Palm Beach County.
If convicted, Joel Lebron, Cesar Mena, Hector Caraballo and Victor Caraballo all face the death penalty in Angel's death.
Jesus Roman faces life in prison if convicted because he was 16 at the time of the killing.
Circuit Judge William Thomas recently threw out the confessions of accused triggerman Lebron and Roman, he said because the teens were not properly read their Miranda rights when interviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Osorio told Local 10 that she is confident that Portobanco's testimony will be enough to convict the five defendants. But she fears that even if convicted, suppressing the confessions might help the suspected killers get out sooner.
Osorio said she has decided to try to raise awareness of the damage done by the suppression of confessions. Osorio said that she plans to write to elected officials to try to gain support for her cause and she wants to make the public aware of the loopholes in the system that she says only benefit the guilty.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle says prosecutors have appealed judge Thomas' ruling but it could take some three or four months before they get a decision from the appellate court.
Fernandez-Rundle said it still could be another couple of years until the case goes to trial -- but she also said that it is important that Angel's mother has started speaking out.
- May 1, 2002: Friends, Family Remember Slain Teen At Memorial
- May 1, 2002: Four Suspects In Angel Killing Face Judge
- May 1, 2002 Friends, Family Remember Slain Teen At Memorial
- April 30, 2002: Lawyer Problems Arise After Teen's Slaying
- April 30, 2002: Mass Planned For Slain Teen As Suspects Await Arraignment
- April 30, 2002: Suspect's Fiancee Speaks To Media
- April 29, 2002: Family, Friends Try To Cope With Teen's Death
- April 29, 2002: Girl's Death Called Random Act Of Violence