Former death row inmate acquitted; released from jail

Seth Penalver is a free man after 18 years in jail

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A former death row inmate walked out of the Broward County Jail as a free man early Saturday morning for the first time in more than 18 years. On Friday, a jury acquitted Seth Penalver of three first-degree murder charges in the 1994 deaths of a Pembroke Park bar owner and two others.

Penalver was seen leaving the jail around 3:10 a.m. on Saturday. According to witnesses, his mother was waiting for him outside. Both declined to comment before they drove away.

Penalver, now 39, had been accused of killing Casimir "Butch Casey" Sucharski, Sharon Anderson, and Marie Rogers in 1994. Sucharski was the owner of the Nickelodeon Bar in Pembroke Park.

Surveillance video showed two men enter a home in Miramar then bind, beat, and shoot the three victims execution style. Prosecutors said one of them was Penalver and the other was Pablo Ibar, who is now on death row.

Penalver's case had been tried twice before. The first time it was heard, it ended in a hung jury. The second trial ended with a conviction and Penalver was sentenced to death. The Supreme Court overturned that sentence in 2006. The most recent trial began back in July.