Convicted killer denied new trial

Jesus Roman claimed his lawyer was ineffective, didn't do enough to spare juvenile

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI - A Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge denied a new trial for the youngest of five men convicted of kidnapping, raping, and killing Ana Maria Angel in 2002.

Jesus Roman claimed his lawyer was ineffective and didn't do enough to spare a juvenile.

"He never really got interested in my case," said Roman.

He was 16 years old when he and four others kidnapped Angel and her boyfriend from the beach, beginning a night of gang rape and mental torture that ended with Angel's body being found on the side of Interstate 95.

His mother, Evelin Roman Martin, testified that if she knew her son was charged with murder, she wouldn't have allowed him to be interrogated without a lawyer. But transcripts showed she gave permission for his interrogation and that his rights were read.

Roman's first attorney, David Marcus, succeeded in getting the confession tossed, but the appeals court put it back as evidence.

"The reason he confessed was he felt the police had intimidated him," testified Marcus.

"We have cases where juveniles are interrogated without their parents even being noticed," said prosecutor Christine Zahralban.

Judge William Thomas denied the new trial.

In January, another of the men, Joel Lebron, was sentenced to death for his role.

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