Testimony continues in murder trial
Joel Lebron accused of killing Ana Maria Angel in 2002
MIAMI – Testimony continued in the trial of Joel Lebron, one of five men accused of kidnapping, raping, and murder Ana Maria Angel in 2002.
On Thursday, a DNA expert took the stand. Prosecutors were expected to call one more witness.
Earlier this week, a forensic examiner and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent testified and Miami Beach Police Detective Larry Marreno took the stand. Two weeks ago, Marreno's testimony led the judge to declare a mistrial.
According to investigators, Angel was 18-years-old in the spring of 2002, two months from graduating South Miami High, when she was out celebrating an anniversary with her boyfriend at the time, Nelson Portobanco on South Beach when five people kidnapped them and forced them into their truck at gunpoint.
As they rode north to Orlando where the defendants came from, Angel was repeatedly raped and Nelson was beaten, said prosecutors. Police said Portobanco was eventually thrown out of the truck along I-95 and left for dead.
The five are accused of killing Angel execution-style at the side of I-95 near Boca Raton to keep her from identifying them. Police said Lebron, now 33, was the gunman.
Closing arguments are expected later this week in the case.
Three of the five have been convicted. Two were sentenced to life in prison; one is awaiting a second sentencing hearing since his death penalty sentence was overturned.
If convicted, Lebron could face the death penalty.
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