Jeremy Macauley, accused of pulling the trigger in the shooting deaths of a Tavernier couple in October, couldn’t have planned out the murder, his mother said, because he is too disorganized.
“Premeditated? Absurd! My son has never been one to prepare anything,” Kathy Taylor wrote in a July 14 letter to Circuit Court Judge Luis Garcia.
Macauley, 33, was indicted by a grand jury in March on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery. He is accused of gunning down Tara Rosado, 26, and Carlos Ortiz, 30, in the bedroom of their Cuba Road home on Oct. 15, 2015. Prosecutors say he had an accomplice, Adrian Demblans, 34, who is accused of driving Macauley to and from the scene of the crime that night.
Rosado’s children — ages 3, 4 and 8 — were in the house during the killings and were alone with the bodies for more than 15 hours until they were spotted by a neighbor in the front yard the next afternoon.
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The motive behind the killings, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office detectives say, was to shut up Ortiz, who was reportedly attempting to extort Macauley.
Macauley was a mate on the Sea Horse charterboat and found what police describe as “a large amount of cocaine” at sea. He brought the drugs back to shore aboard the Sea Horse, broke them down into smaller packages and sold them with associates, detectives say.
Macauley also had a financial stake in Ortiz’s fledgling tattoo shop. Detectives say Ortiz began demanding Macauley put more money into the business or he was going to inform on him to the police about the drugs. Police say Ortiz’s extortion attempt got him and girlfriend Rosado killed.
But Taylor told the judge in her letter that cops arrested the wrong person. She shed no light on who the killer could be, but she said it’s not her son.
“In closing, I hope they find/convict the person or persons responsible for this horrific act, however, it’s not my son,” Taylor wrote.
In her letter, Taylor also criticized local media for what she contends is unfair coverage of the case, and urged Garcia not to allow her son to be tried in the Keys.
“If this situation goes to jury, I plead that the selection will not be local Keys people,” Taylor wrote. “I feel this rush to judgment has been exercised here and at my son’s expense.”
The trial is tentatively scheduled for November but it could get pushed back further. The State Attorney’s Office combined Macauley’s and Demblans’ cases. But Macauley’s lawyer Ed O’Donnell Sr. filed a motion this month to separate the cases.
Demblans’ lawyer, Frank Quintero, told The Reporter last week that he agreed with O’Donnell’s opinion that the men should not be tried together.
Garcia has yet to make a ruling on the motion.
David Goodhue: 305-440-3204