‘There is no justice in Miami’: Grieving VH-1 star says about suspect on house arrest

MIAMI – Salomé Jackson was devastated on Thursday when she learned the teenager who is accused of killing her little sister about two weeks ago gets to go home.

Jackson, 28, would have been celebrating Giselle “Gigi” Rengifo’s 18th birthday this month. But Rengifo was shot in the head during a party.

“There is no justice in Miami,” said Jackson, who is also known as Betty Idol in the VH-1 reality show the “Cartel Crew.”

Giselle Rengifo, 17, left, smiles for a picture with her sister Salome Jackson. (Courtesy of Salome Jackson)

Michael McGowan, who turns 18 years old on June 10, is facing a first-degree felony charge of manslaughter with a deadly weapon, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Miami Fire Rescue personnel found Rengifo bleeding May 18 at a four-bedroom home at 2721 SW 20 St., near Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

Detectives later learned the home was an Airbnb rental. Officers arrested McGowan on May 19. He was granted house arrest on Wednesday.

Michael McGowan, 17, faces a manslaughter charge in connection with an accidental shooting on May 18. (Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation)

“I don’t have my sister anymore,” Jackson said in tears. “These people don’t feel my pain.”

The teen appeared in court on Thursday and his attorney filed a written plea of not guilty.

Although McGowan claims it was an accidental shooting, Jackson is convinced it was not. She said a video proves he was showing off a gun that had a bullet in the chamber before the party.

“Now this guy is just out,” Jackson said. “He is out free.”

McGowan is demanding a trial by jury. His next hearing is June 8. Miami-Dade County court records show the case was assigned to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Gina Beovides.

About the Authors:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.