Rickenbacker Causeway shooter appears in court for cyclist's murder

Kadel Piedrahita held without bond in murder of beloved father

By Parker Branton - Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Kadel Piedrahita, who is accused of killing a beloved father at Miami's Virginia Key, appeared in Miami-Dade County Court on Saturday. 

Piedrahita was riding a motorcycle when he was following Alex Palencia, 48, who was cycling with a group on the William Powell Bridge on the Rickenbacker Causeway. They were coming from Miami, and they were riding toward the village of Key Biscayne. 

Detectives said Piedrahita, who was on Facebook Live as he followed the Don Pan cycling group, fatally shot Palencia on Wednesday morning in the stomach during a scuffle. Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital pronounced Palencia dead. 

"I lost my dad, the most important man in my life, without the chance to say goodbye," Palencia's daughter, Alice Palencia, wrote on Instagram. "What happened to him leading up to his death is an absolute tragedy that I would never wish upon any other daughter."

Officers arrested Piedrahita, 41, on Friday in the murder of Alex Palencia, who worked as an insurance agent. His attorney, Sabino Jauregui, asked Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Reemberto Diaz to release him on Saturday.  

"He was provoked in this case," said Jauregui. "The alleged victim did ride up upon my client. They put their hands on my client." 

Piedrahita claimed two men attacked him and he shot in self defense. A conflict on social media  preceded the shooting. Piedrahita, whose son is a member of the Don Pan cycling group, made a threat in a video on Facebook. 

"When you see me, come at me because I am going to [expletive] you up," Piedrahita said. "You messed with the wrong guy ... I am going to cut you in half ... You will know my fury."

Diaz found probable cause for the charges and ordered him held without bond. Piedrahita remains at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. He is facing second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a fire arm charges. 

"I can genuinely say that this is the worst pain my heart has ever felt in my life," Alice Palencia wrote. "My dad will never get to walk me down the aisle or meet his future grandchildren one day because of heartless, evil people in this world."

 

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