Kadel Piedrahita will stand trial for murder Oct. 12 for the shooting of a cyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway, a judge ruled Friday, saying the evidnce of guilt was so strong, prosecutors would be warranted in upping the charges.
Circuit Court Judge Alberto Milian denied a new application for bond. He said a review of seven videotapes and witness depositions left no doubt that Piedrahita should not be freed pending trial. He also rejected the notion that jurors should have a choice of a manslaughter option as a defense attorney suggested.
“I have found no credible evidence that would support something other than a guilty verdict on second degree murder,” the judge said, adding he felt prosecutors could prevail on a charge of first-degree murder, which requires premeditation.
“But that’s a decision for the State Attorney’s office,” Milian said.
The shooting on Aug. 14, 2019 stunned the cycling community that gathers most mornings for rides across the Rickenbacker and into Key Biscayne. Piedrahita, the judge said, appears to have stalked victim Alex Palencia, 48, threatening him the day before.
Defense attorney Jesus Gonzalez argued that portions of one deposition appeared to show that Piedrahita was fighting off three cyclists. “Now we know, judge, that he was attacked by multiple people.”
But the judge said witness Astrid Rodriguez’s comments contradicted video evidence and noted she was questioned in March of this year, long after the shooting.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.