MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Spanish speaking reporters descended to Miami-Dade County court Thursday morning to follow a popular Mexican actor who is asking the judge to dismiss his manslaughter case.
Pablo Lyle, a protagonist in several soap operas watched in Latin America, was arrested after the March 31 road rage incident at 14th Street and 27th Avenue that resulted in Juan Hernandez's death.
Lyle, 32, asked Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Alan Fine to allow him to use a Florida self-defense law with a history of controversial cases. The law allows a person to use deadly force to prevent serious harm or death.
"I want to thank everyone for their love and support," Lyle told reporters outside of the courtroom. "As you know, it is a process and a journey and I can't really say much."
Lyle's painful journey to court began with an unwanted detour in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.
In his haste to get to Miami International Airport on time, Lyle's brother-in-law admitted to having cut off Hernandez after taking the wrong Dolphin Expressway exit. He was driving Lyle and his wife, Ana Araujo, from Miami's Brickell neighborhood to catch a flight to Mexico, police said.
At a red light, Hernandez, 63, got out of his car. Lyle, 32, said Hernandez slammed on the window and made threats, police said. Surveillance video shows Lyle also got out of the car and ran toward Hernandez.
Lyle's attorneys Philip Reizenstein and Bruce Lehr said he was legally allowed to use force to defend himself and his family from Hernandez's threats. Lehr said Hernandez was in a "very bad mood" and "having a horrible day" when he released his "fury" on the vehicle with three children.
Witnesses told police officers Lyle knocked out Hernandez with a single punch and fled. The impact caused Hernandez to fall and suffer a traumatic brain injury. Lyle and his brother-in-law turned themselves in to police after dropping off Araujo and the children at the airport.
Hernandez died four days later at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Lyle pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in May. He was placed on house arrest with a GPS monitor until Thursday when Fine gave him more freedom.
"The judge allowed Mr. Lyle to be able to go on freely about town but with a curfew," Lehr said, adding he can only go out from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fine set the "stand your ground" hearing for Aug. 22.