On the surface, the story could be ripped from a Mexican Telenovela: A wealthy, handsome son of privilege faces justice after killing a poor working man on the street.
The real-life story, however, is messier than fiction. Miami jurors, not scriptwriters, will write the ending.
This week marks the start of the trial for Mexican actor Pablo Lyle, who is accused of manslaughter for the death of 63-year-old Juan Ricardo Hernandez in Miami. In circuit court, the jury will decide a relatively straightforward case, whether Lyle broke the law when he delivered one ultimately fatal punch at Hernandez during a road-rage confrontation three years ago.
But as lawyers worked to select a jury, they weighed all the complications of Miami itself: the reach of Spanish-language media coverage, divisions between rich and poor, and tensions between Hispanic groups over a Mexican actor who killed a Cuban man in a county dominated by Cuban Americans.
“Ethnicity always comes up. Members of the defense have heard it throughout the community over the years — that Mexican and they say it in a nasty way — punched that Cuban. This really concerns me,” Miami defense attorney Philip Reizenstein told the judge on Tuesday, September 20th, as lawyers began questioning potential jurors.
On Wednesday evening, after two days of questioning potential jurors, lawyers selected a six-person jury.
Opening arguments will take place on Friday, with testimony lasting about five days. The 35-year-old Lyle faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Lyle and Hernandez hailed from vastly different backgrounds.
The jury will meet Lyle, a good-looking 35-year-old actor originally from Mazatlan, Mexico. He’d starred in several major Televisa shows, including “La Sombra del Pasado,” or “The Shadow of the Past,” and “Mi Adorable Maldición,” or “My Adorable Curse” (which once included American comedian Conan O’Brien in a guest role alongside Lyle).
He also landed a leading role in a Netflix crime drama, “Yankee.” Lyle, a father of two who normally lives in Mexico City, was also named one of People en Español’s 50 most beautiful people in 2015.
Source: Miami Herald