Retrial for convicted killer begins in Pinellas Co. Tuesday morning

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A convicted murderer is headed back to court in Pinellas County, proclaiming his innocence.

In 2013, a jury convicted Hector Vasquez-Padilla of murdering Marcos Antonio Diaz and leaving his body in a car at the Oldsmar city boat ramp in May of 2006.  Diaz had been shot to death.

Bryant Camareno, a Tampa defense attorney and legal expert for News Channel 8, is representing Vasquez-Padilla.  He filed an appeal of the 2013 conviction and won.  He’s known Vasquez-Padilla for years and believes his client is innocent.

“I’ve known him since he was 16 years-old and I would say it doesn’t matter as a defense attorney if I believe a client or not, but in this case, I do believe him,” said Camareno. “I’ve known him since he was 16 and this is not who he is.”

At a motion hearing on Monday afternoon, prosecutors told the judge they believe they have a solid case against Vasquez-Padilla.  They plan to have a phone company expert testify that the defendant’s phone was pinging traveling to the scene of the killing or driving away from it.

Vasquez-Padilla was sentenced to life in prison on the original conviction.  If he is found guilty a second time, he could face that same sentence.

Jury selection in the case is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center.

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