Sunday, January 20, 2008

Trial Begins For Men Allegedly Connected To Jewelry Store Killing

POSTED: 5:48 pm EST January 17, 2008
UPDATED: 11:01 pm EST January 17, 2008

MIAMI -- Five years ago, a group of armed robbers entered a local Mayor's jewelry store and killed a security guard.

The trial for two men allegedly involved in the crime began on Thursday at the Miami Metro Justice Building.

The prosecution calls the men the "Rolex Robbers." They said they had planned to rob the jewelry store of tens of thousands of dollars of watches.

What they hadn't planned on, authorities said, is that the security guard would fight back and surveillance would capture everything.

An eyewitness in the murder trial of the Mayor's security guard broke down crying while explaining what happened inside the Merrick Park jewelry store in Coral Gables on Jan. 13, 2003.

"I went straight to the man," said witness Carlos de Quesada. "I remember seeing, in the back, blood coming out right there."

Surveillance from that day showed the final moments of Luis Brito's life. The video showed two masked gunmen entering Mayor's. Brito reached for his weapon, but it was too late.

Police arrested four men in connection with the homicide-robbery.

"Andre Williams was to drive the car," assistant state attorney Breezye Telfair said. "Shird Myrick, well he was the tool man. He was the person holding the bag with the hammers."

Williams and Myrick, who went by the alias "Chico," were never seen inside the store, but outdoor surveillance video shot before the robbery showed one man.

"Almost immediately, Crimestoppers, the tips just continue to come in, come in, come in," Telfair said. "Everyone is saying the same thing: 'It's Chico. It's Shird. It's Chico.'"

Myrick's attorney argued that there was no physical evidence against his client.

"The person has a very different forehead from Mr. Myrick," defense attorney John Weinberg said. "The person has slightly different hair."

Weinberg also argued that police had not found the tool bag Telfair had mentioned his client had been holding.

After the robbery, police caught up to Williams, the alleged getaway driver, thousands of miles from South Florida.

Prosecutors said he left a latex glove inside a stolen BMW that was used in the robbery.

"Miami-Dade police go to Iowa and find Andre Williams," Telfair said. "They get DNA. It matches evidence found in the silver BMW."

However, one of William's defense attorneys said reasonable doubt lies inside that glove.

"One of the gloves has a mixture of DNA," the attorney said.

The trial will resume on Friday.

Ehren Witt and Milton Hall, the two masked gunmen who were inside the store and allegedly killed Brito, have yet to stand trial. If they are convicted of murder, they could get the death penalty.

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