PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County jury has ruled that a man convicted of murder back in 2013 didn’t commit the crime.
It took the jury 11 hours to find Hector Vazquez-Padilla not guilty of the 2006 murder of Marcos Antonio Diaz during a new trial.
All along, Vazquez-Padilla claimed he was innocent.
But in 2013, a jury convicted him of murdering Diaz and leaving his body in a car at the Oldsmar city boat ramp. Diaz was shot to death.
Bryant Camareno, a Tampa defense attorney and legal expert for News Channel 8, represents Vasquez-Padilla. He filed an appeal of the 2013 conviction and won. The new verdict brought elation.
“He’s been protesting his innocence for 11 years now and in the end he was finally vindicated,” Camareno said.
Last week, prosecutors told the judge they believe they have a solid case against Vasquez-Padilla.
But, it appears witnesses lied and exaggerated during the first trial, prompting a new one.
“I think what hurt the state’s case was it was clear and obvious some of the civilian witnesses were lying,” Camareno said.
Vasquez-Padilla was sentenced to life in prison on the original conviction.
He’ll serve several months in jail for other minor crimes, then should walk free by the end of the year, Camareno said.
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