The scientific evidence played a major role in the case. Lebron’s DNA matched semen found inside Angel, clearly showing he raped her, Rubin said.
Lebron’s attorney Jeffrey Fink suggested to jurors that perhaps the DNA sample had been contaminated.
The defense certainly had an uphill battle. Fink attempted to shift the blame to Lebron’s co-defendants, suggesting that he was less culpable because they had been the ones to originally plan the trip from Orlando to South Beach
Fink also blasted the investigation’s lead detective, who placed an audio recorder on the wrong setting, losing Lebron’s taped confession. The detectives nevertheless testified about the chilling details of the confession.
“The reliability of the single most important piece of evidence, they destroyed,” Fink told jurors.
This was not Lebron’s first trial — an earlier one started Sept. 10. But Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas declared a mistrial after a Miami Beach detective accidently mentioned to jurors that a co-defendant had been convicted, a fact jurors are not supposed to know.
As in the first trial, these proceedings featured heart-wrenching testimony from Portobanco and Osorio, who recalled the last time she kissed her daughter goodbye, hours before the kidnapping.
For Osorio and Portobanco’s mother, Friday’s verdict was bittersweet.
“It’s been hard reliving this tragedy for the past few days” Portobanco said.
Said Osorio: “I still have a great pain. It’s first-degree murder, and my daughter was still the victim. But at least, we know he won’t hurt anybody else.”