By Alfredo Alvarez
Miami, Flo– José Fernandez’s lawyer says the former Miami Marlins pitcher was the victim of a faulty state investigation, which found him guilty for the boating accident in 2016 that cost him, and two other friends, their lives.
Attorney Ralph Fernandez, no relation, filed a document on Monday in front of the Circuit Court of Miami-Dade alleging that the investigators of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission erroneously concluded that Fernandez was at fault when his boat called «Kaught Looking» crashed on the Government Cut pier around 3:00 am on September 25, 2016.
Ralph Fernandez’s documents claimed that the FWC investigation «was plagued by false statements, and even virtually unheard-of evidence destruction that includes references to evidence that never existed.» In these judicial documents, the scene and the condition of the bodies of the deceased men are described in a grotesque and horrifying way.
The lawyer maintains that José Fernandez was not behind the wheel that night. It is considered that all are mistakes made by the commission, citing that this was an investigation plagued by «lack of experience, inability to answer simple questions, direction of deficient investigation and a neglected work.” «From the beginning, the agents in the case decided that José Fernandez was the driver and that his blood alcohol level was considered high enough to exceed the legal limit. For this reason, they intentionally did not consider any other evidence provided that José Fernandez and Eduardo Rivero were victims of a trap, being given drugs involuntarily through a drink,» said the lawyer in his presentation in front of the court.
The report said that José Fernandez had a blood alcohol level of 0.167 – twice the legal limit – and that he had cocaine in his blood while driving at excessive speeds. Attorney Ralph Fernandez said in court records that the Marlins player had a blood alcohol level of 0.147, still above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. The fatal accident took the life of José Fernandez, 24, and his two passengers: Emilio Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25. The three had been drinking in the American Social, a modern bar on the Miami River, before the accident. The families of Macias and Rivero have filed a lawsuit for $2 million each.
FWC spokesman Robert Klepper said Tuesday night that the agency had no comment on this.
If José had survived, he would most likely be accused of several crimes, including homicide, since it was found that Fernandez’s boat was traveling at more than 65 miles per hour at the time of the crash, the vessel’s maximum speed. Ralph Fernandez suggests in his presentation that someone could have drugged Fernandez at the bar to rob him. Since the player had $ 15,000 in his backpack while he was at the bar. According to the court documents, the backpack was found at the scene of the accident and inside it contained some baseballs, but the cash was no longer there.
The lawyer explains that «the $15,000 shortage is evidence of the involuntary ingestion of cocaine as part of a plan by someone trying to steal the money.»
In the presentation, the lawyer pointed out that Lieutenant Michael Haney said he knew of the existence of the missing $15,000, but did not include it in his report. He said that when the agency got the backpack, the money was gone.
The lawyer wrote that the investigating commission never took the possibility of an «involuntary ingestion» of cocaine seriously, despite the fact that there were no signs of drugs on the scene.
He also noted that the three bodies were washed before being taken to the Office of the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner, which, according to the lawyer, can constitute a destruction of evidence. Dr. Kenneth Hutchins, a Miami-Dade coroner, said in a statement quoted in court, that in the more than 500 homicide cases he has worked with, the police never washed the bodies before the coroner’s office conducted their investigation.
The lawyer also stated that the FWC gave Macias preferential treatment because his father works for the Miami-Dade police, and questioned that there were no testimonies from the divers who reported to the scene.
Sources of information: http://www.espn.com
Images were taken from MLB.tv
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