Beaten over a beer in Keys, man dies in Miami hospital



A Keys man who was beaten up earlier this month following a disagreement about buying beer has died from his injuries at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, and now the man who beat him could face a murder rap.

Jesus Rodriguez, 45, died from the July 7 beating, which the Monroe County Sheriff's Office says included being kicked in the head — all over $10 for beer. Arrested at the time was Charles Miller, 42, also of Stock Island, who was charged with aggravated battery.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Manny Madruga said that "we're waiting on the autopsy reports" before deciding whether to increase the charge to homicide.

Following Miller's arrest, Monroe Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Miller told detectives he gave a woman he didn't know the $10 to buy beer from the Tom Thumb convenience store on Maloney Avenue. She returned empty handed.

Miller asked her for his money back. Instead, she "ran over to Rodriguez, who was on a bike. Rodriguez then reportedly got off the bike and the two men started fighting."

Witnesses said Miller knocked Rodriguez to the ground and kicked him “in the face before fleeing."

Deputies found Miller hiding beneath a building in the Coral Hammock condominium complex a few blocks off U.S. 1.

Miller is being held at the Monroe County Detention Center with no bond allowed.

Read more Florida Keys stories from the Miami Herald

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