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Hialeah man sentenced to 30 year prison term

Posted on September 15, 2010 3:00 AM EST

A circuit court judge sentenced a local man to 30 years in prison for several violent crimes he allegedly committed in Hialeah. The defendant entered guilty pleas in three cases based on the strength of the physical evidence discovered by the police investigating the crimes. The defendant appeared in court with his Miami criminal lawyer from the public defender's office. The sentence handed down by the court was relatively light considering the allegations and charges filed against Jeosvany Salas. The very reasonable plea offer in light of the evidence was offered in an effort to keep the victims from testifying at trial to reduce the trauma. The defendant is alleged to have part of a group that committed numerous home invasion robberies during 2007.

The first case charged the defendant with kidnapping and sexual battery. The defendant broke into a home with two other unidentified men, tied up a woman and her daughter, held them at gunpoint and stole jewelry and electronics. Before leaving the residence, the defendant allegedly licked the woman. The crime scene detectives were able to collect a DNA sample from saliva found on the victim's chest. The collected sample matched the saliva sample extracted from the defendant.

The second case alleged that the defendant committed a robbery against a 73 year-old victim. Apparently, the defendant and his accomplices broke into the wrong house thinking they were going rob a wealthy Cuban man. Despite the fact that the assailants broke into the wrong home, they decided to rob the elderly woman. During the robbery they tied up the woman and taped her mouth shut. Detectives were able to locate a fingerprint on a piece of scotch tape located at the crime scene that matched the defendant's fingerprints.

The third case against the defendant was a kidnapping charge that allegedly occurred when the defendant held a pawn shop owner hostage in his home for over 9 hours. The defendant and his accomplices beat the victim for hours in an effort to secure the pass codes to get into his store. The defendant was arrested fleeing the scene as the police arrived. According to the police, the defendant provided a full confession to the crime. While this case was initially the strongest for the state, the first two cases became the strongest through the use of forensic evidence.

While confessions and identifications through show-ups or lineups are pieces of evidence often relies on by prosecutors, any experienced criminal defense lawyer will tell you that the far most compelling evidence that can be presented to jury is forensic evidence such as DNA, fingerprints, gunshot residue, to name a few. Jurors will often admit during the jury selection process that they favor physical forensic evidence over testimonial evidence. The only way to refute forensic evidence is for the defense to hire their own expert witness to re-test the evidence and possibly testify if any discrepancies are found. While hiring experts is an expensive proposition, there may not be alternative.

Hialeah Robber, Sentenced to 30 Years, The Miami Herald.com, September 15, 2010.
Categories: Violent Crimes