Judge William Thomas stepped up and followed the law today, as our favourite herald scribe writes on the Herald website:
Judge tosses out confession in murder case
BY SUSANNAH A. NESMITH
The jury that has to decide whether Joel Lebron should be put to death for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Ana Marie Angel won't hear about his tearful confession.
Circuit Judge William Thomas tossed out the confession on Tuesday, ruling that Lebron wasn't properly informed of his right to remain silent when he spoke to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent.
Angel was gang raped and her boyfriend, Nelson Portobanco, beaten. His throat was slashed and he was dumped on the side of Interstate 95 in Broward County.
Angel was later found dead in Palm Beach County. But Portobanco lived and was able to give police information about what happened to both of them.
Thomas also tossed the confession of one of the other men, Jesus Roman. Roman was only 16 at the time and is the only defendant not facing the death penalty.
Assistant State Attorney Abe Laeser said prosecutors plan to appeal both rulings.
There is nothing but a confession tying Roman to the crimes, according to his attorney, David S. Markus.
''I'm very pleased with the judge's ruling,'' Markus said. ``It took a lot of courage, given the high profile case.
NICE ARTICLE- TOUGH CASE.
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