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Rafael Andres - Florida
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Thread: Rafael Andres - Florida

  1. #1
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    Rafael Andres - Florida


    Prosecutor Deisy Hernandez holds a photograph of murdered waitress, Yvette Fariñas, 31





    Handyman convicted of 2005 murder of waitress


    By David Ovalle
    The Miami Herald

    A hulking handyman named Rafael Andres stood accused of beating, stabbing and strangling a West Miami-Dade waitress with a cord from a rice cooker.

    Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the evidence against Andres fit too perfectly for him to walk free.

    His DNA was on a bloody wash cloth found near the body of 31-year-old Yvette Fariñas. A neighbor identified Andres, holding a gas can, leaving the home just before the crime scene went up in flames.

    And in the hours after Fariñas vicious death in January 2005, Andres used her ATM card to withdraw cash, buy goods at The Home Depot, fuel up his van and pay for a stay at the Miccosukee Resort and Casino.

    “These are not coincidences,” prosecutor Gail Levine told jurors this week. “This is evidence of guilt.”

    Jurors agreed. After some nine hours of deliberations over three days, jurors on Wednesday convicted Andres of first-degree murder.

    “After so many years, there is justice,” said the slain woman’s father, Rene Fariñas, 64. “That’s the fundamental thing we wanted – and that this killer didn’t remain on the streets.”

    In court, Fariñas’ mother, father and sister wept at the news. Seated on the opposite side of the gallery, so did Andres’ family.

    Andres, wearing a giant blue button-up sweater and slacks, intensely furrowed his eyebrows. Otherwise, he showed no emotion as he shuffled on a cane, escorted by corrections officers, back into the bowels of Miami-Dade’s criminal courthouse.

    Now, Andres faces the death penalty. His sentencing hearing starts Dec. 15 before Circuit Judge Dava Tunis.

    His defense team, which unsuccessfully argued Andres was guilty of only swiping her ATM card, must now persuade the same jury to spare his life. That may not be an easy task. Andres, 50, already has another murder conviction.

    Back in 1987, Andres beat and fatally stabbed Linda Azcarreta, 32, inside a Flagami home. Andres pleaded guilty and agreed to serve nine years in prison.

    He wound up, however, serving just over one year in prison. His later convictions also include grand theft and possession of a firearm by a conviction felon.

    Back in January 2005, Andres had been hired to help renovate a home on the 7300 block of Southwest 12th Street. He was not a licensed contractor and appeared overwhelmed with the work.

    Fariñas and her boyfriend lived in an efficiency attached to the house. She and her small family arrived in Miami from Cuba in 1999. Fariñas worked at the La Carreta eatery at Miami International Airport.

    But she was interviewing to become a federal security officer at the airport. One day, Fariñas hoped to also start a coin-laundry business.

    “My daughter had a lot of dreams and had studied,” said mother Luisa Moya, 63. “In five years, she was going to become a citizen. And that man destroyed that away.”

    That morning, Fariñas’ boyfriend left at dawn for his job delivering milk crates across South Florida. Andres, using a spare key to the efficiency, entered and beat her until she gave up her pin code, prosecutors said.

    Andres plunged a blade “into her chest, again and again and again,” Levine said. Then, he wrapped the rice-cooker cord around her neck.

    “His 260 pounds overpowers her and he leaves her to die in her own blood,” Levine said.

    Miami-Dade detectives took one year to build their case. The crime even appeared on the national TV show America’s Most Wanted.

    Ultimately, cell phone records tied Andres geographically to the crime scene. Investigators found traces of gasoline on his sneakers. A gas-can lid fit perfectly to a lidless container found at his home. His van was also found dumped in rural West Miami-Dade.

    In all, Andres successfully withdrew or charged $1,676 in stolen money.

    Defense attorneys didn’t hide from the ATM card theft. Their reasoning: Andres couldn’t have killed Farinas because he so openly used the account.

    “We fully admit he used her card. but the evidence has not shown when he obtained it, how he obtained it and you cannot speculate on that,” Assistant Public Defender Edith Georgi told the jury.

    Andres’ defense team attacked the reliability of the neighbor who identified Andres, arguing that she couldn’t have fully seen his face through a fence. The van could have been stolen from the Miccosukee resort.

    And the DNA openly proved one thing: that Andres had been in the efficiency, doing work, sometime in the days before the slaying.

    “DNA doesn’t tell time,” Georgi said.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/loca...#storylink=cpy

  2. #2
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    Miami handyman gets death penalty for murder of La Carreta waitress

    By David Ovalle
    The Miami Herald

    Rafael Andres served just 18 months behind bars for the murder of a Miami woman in 1987.

    For his second murder, Andres received the ultimate punishment. A Miami-Dade judge on Wednesday sentenced Andres to death for beating, stabbing and using a rice-cooker cord to strangle 31-year-old waitress Yvette Fariñas in 2005.

    “When you took that rice-cooker cord and wound it around her neck, the evidence is clear. She was alive. She knew you were strangling her,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dava Tunis told Andres on Wednesday. “She fought you for her life.”

    The judge noted that Andres, 51, served “very little time” for the 1987 murder of 32-year-old Linda Azcarreta. Andres stabbed her to death — he claimed in a frenzy of drug use — then cashed a $100 check meant for the woman. In that case, he pleaded guilty and agreed to serve nine years. But under prison rules for good behavior, he walked free after just 18 months — lenient punishment not unusual in a then-overcrowded prison system.

    “You were still a young man. You had the opportunity to live a productive life,” Tunis said. “Unfortunately, you did not learn and committed a second heinous murder.”

    Wednesday’s final sentencing capped a decade of legal wrangling before the trial court. A jury last year convicted Andres of first-degree murder and other felonies. The jurors, by a 9-3 vote, recommended the death penalty.

    The dual tragedy united relatives of both victims. Last year in court, Azcarreta’s adult son — who as a child discovered his mother’s body inside her home — attended the court hearings, comforting the Fariñas family.

    Rene Azcarreta spoke to the judge for the first time Wednesday, describing his mother as an “amazing woman” who never got to see her son grow into adulthood.

    “I wanted to thank you for allowing me to speak,” Rene Azcarreta tearfully told the judge. “As a child I never had that opportunity to express the excruciating loss I had to deal with and the effect this has caused on everyone in my family.”

    After the hearing, Rene Azcarreta and Fariñas’ parents embraced each other. “Peace,” Azcarreta said when asked to describe his emotions.

    In 2005, Fariñas and her boyfriend lived in an efficiency attached to a house in the 7300 block of Southwest 12th Street. Andres was a handyman who had been hired to do renovations on the home.

    His DNA was found on a bloody washcloth found near Fariñas’ body. A neighbor identified Andres, holding a gas can, leaving the home just before the crime scene went up in flames.

    Andres also used her ATM card to withdraw cash, buy goods at The Home Depot, fuel up his van and pay for a stay at the Miccosukee Resort and Casino.

    Fariñas left behind a small family that had arrived in Miami from Cuba in 1999. She worked at La Carreta restaurant at Miami International Airport, and was interviewing to become a federal security officer at the airport.

    “The family will never be the same,” Miami-Dade prosecutor Gail Levine said after the court hearing. “But today, they received some closure.”

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/loca...e20325072.html

  3. #3
    Moderator Ryan's Avatar
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    Andres entered death row on June 16, 2015.

  4. #4
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    Today the Florida Supreme Court ordered that Andres's sentence should be vacated and that he should receive a new penalty phase trial due to Hurst. They also upheld his conviction.

    http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/d.../sc15-1095.pdf

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