A Miami man who fled the scene of a death two weeks ago agreed to speak with police again Wednesday. And after changing his initial statement, he was promptly charged with second-degree murder, accused of choking a man to death.
Rafael Valencia, 35, told police he punched Jorge Cruz, 63, in the face several times then choked him to death because he found the older man masturbating in front of Valencia’s girlfriend. The three of them lived together.
Valencia, who police said agreed to speak with them, was charged with second-degree murder and booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. No bond was set.
According to police, Valencia returned to his home at 2255 NW North River Dr., near 11 p.m. July 22 and found Cruz in the act. Enraged, he hit the man, then “held the choke hold on the victim until the victim was no longer responsive.”
Police and Miami Fire Rescue were summoned, but Valencia took off before they arrived. After failing to resuscitate Cruz, police managed to contact Valencia and took a statement from him, but he remained free.
Then on July 31, a forensic pathologist told police that Cruz’s wounds were “consistent with the victim being strangled,” according to Valencia’s arrest affidavit.
So police contacted Valencia again and asked him to visit the police station to clarify his earlier statement.
The arrest report said Valencia admitted to punching Cruz in the face and holding him in a “bear choke hold” until he was no longer responsive and bleeding from his mouth.