Fatal pummeling in Key West: Fantasy Fest murder trial begins Monday

 
 
Peter Erik Hedvall
Peter Erik Hedvall

KeysInfoNet

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the first-degree murder trial of Peter Erik Hedvall, accused of killing a man during Fantasy Fest 2011 in Key West.

Hedvall, 28, is accused of murdering Jonathon Alvarado, a former server at La Trattoria Beachside who was 32 when he died, on Oct. 28 that year. Alvarado was found dead under a truck at 1019 Grinnell St., down the block from Don's Million Dollar Bar.

The cause of death was blunt-force trauma caused by a rock found lying next to the truck, according to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

Police reports say witnesses at Don's the night of the slaying saw Alvarado wearing angel wings — which were used to strangle him, according to reports — and Hedvall was seen in a light-colored suit. Both were costumes for the annual 10-day Fantasy Fest bacchanal.

Hedvall, of Brighton, Mass., was questioned the night of the slaying and police collected the suit. Police said they later found drops of Alvarado's blood on it.

Meanwhile, Hedvall had taken off to Waukesha, Wis., where he was arrested on Dec. 21, 2011, and extradited back to the Keys. He's being held in lieu of $500,000 bond at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island.

In the run-up to the trial, defense attorneys contested whether the DNA was collected in a proper search and is therefore admissible. Monroe County Judge Wayne Miller ruled the evidence could be used in trial by prosecuting Assistant State Attorney Val Winter.

Hedvall, a former bouncer at Irish Kevin's bar and the Bare Assets strip club, is represented by Alan Fowler.

The trial is at the Freeman Justice Center. Prosecutors aren't seeking the death penalty.

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