A Miami teen is going to prison for 50 years for murdering a man who was walking his blind brother on the street.
Juaquan Hall, 16, was sentenced late Friday, more than one year after a jury convicted him of fatally shooting Ramiro “Tony” Izquierdo, 20, in August 2015 as the siblings walked back from a Liberty City market.
Hall was only 14 when he was arrested for first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery. Circuit Judge Richard Hersch followed the sentence recommended by prosecutors. Hall must also serve 25 years of probation after leaving prison.
Izquierdo was the primary caretaker for Javier Izquierdo, 23, who suffers from a hereditary eye disease known as “bilateral retinoblastoma,” a condition that his brother did not get.
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The disease afflicted their mother, and cost their grandmother her vision when she was an infant. One of his sisters died of the eye disease when she was only 9.
The two brothers planned to one day open a computer store.
That evening, Ramiro and Javier walked to a store to buy shampoo and pastries, but were confronted by two robbers in the 2100 block of Northwest 57th Street.
One of them shot Ramiro when he did not comply with their demands quickly enough.
At the trial, an eyewitness identified Hall as the shooter. His distinct jacket was also found near the crime scene, and he told various stories to police about where he was on the day of the shooting.
Today, Javier Izquierdo suffers from reoccurring nightmares and insomnia and began smoking marijuana to curb the anxiety, he testified during a two-day sentencing for Hall.
“It has affected Javier a great deal. He’ll lock himself up in his room and play loud music,” their mother, Elizabeth Rivera, told the judge. “I’ll have to tell Javier open the door, turn down the music.”
Said Javier: “I miss the conversations that me and him had.”
Under Florida law, Hall — because he was a minor at the time of the murder — is eligible for a possible release after 25 years behind bars. That decision will be made by a judge.
“Nothing will replace the loss of Ramiro and what he meant to his brother and his family,” said Miami-Dade Sgt. Michael Scott, who was the lead investigator on the case. “But now there is some closure and they can begin to heal.”