State Seeks Death Penalty In Retired Cop's Death
State prosecutors said in court Wednesday that they would pursue the death penalty in the case of a man accused of fatally shooting a retired Miami police captain last year.
Rafael Toirac-Aguilera, 33, was extradited from New Jersey and booked into a Miami-Dade County jail July 28th on a first degree murder charge. Police say Toirac-Aguilera shot and killed Robert Yee execution style in July 2009 at a Miami marina.
Yee's tearful family members were in the courtroom Wednesday, but declined to comment.
Toirac- Aguilera was not present at the hearing Wednesday. But last week he spoke through a translator saying he could not afford a private attorney. A public defender was appointed to his case.
In February, sources confirmed to CBS4's Gary Nelson that Toirac-Aguilera was in custody in New Jersey, jailed months ago on a domestic violence charge. That's when a sealed arrest warrant was issued for him in Florida.
The arrest warrant was granted based upon information Miami homicide detectives were able to uncover. The suspect left fingerprints and DNA on a critical piece of evidence related to the crime. Investigators believe the murder was a targeted "hit."
According to the arrest warrant, which was unsealed July 29th that critical piece of evidence was a Tropicana orange juice bottle.
"It appeared the shooter used the bottle as a make-shift silencer for his revolver by taping it to the barrel of the revolver," according to the warrant. A DNA examiner later verified that "the print found on the Tropicana Orange juice bottle matched the offender's left index finger."
Yee was murdered on July 10, 2009 at the Hurricane Cove Marina. The former Captain was a 25-year veteran with the Miami Police Department before retiring in 1995. Yee's body was found with two gunshot wounds to the head.
The execution-style slaying was done in broad daylight as he sat in a golf cart that he used to get around the sprawling marina he worked at as a yard manager and security guard.
A law enforcement source has told CBS4 News that at the time, Yee had been assisting in a federal investigation of a smuggling operation on the river. Investigators are trying to learn if that may have contributed to his murder.