Nine years ago, Gregory A. Prebish and his wife decided to move from Miami to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a quieter, less-stressful life.
But Prebish, a longtime Miami criminal defense attorney, was in the middle of the second trial for Burson Augustin, one of seven men — dubbed the Liberty City 7 — charged with waging war against the United States.
Prebish stayed in Miami about seven months after his wife and daughter headed west. He needed to finish the case, which ended in a mistrial for a second time.
“He always believed those kids were innocent of the charges,” wife Kimberly said.
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Prebish left South Florida for good before the men went to trial a third time. Kimberly Prebish said her husband was disappointed when he learned five of the seven, including Burson, were convicted of some of the charges.
“That was really hard for him,” she said. “I think a piece of him wondered what would have happened if he stayed.”
Prebish, who was involved several other high-profile cases over more than two decades — including a Cuban-migrant smuggling case — and at one time served as the president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, died Jan. 4 in Wyoming from complications of the flu. He was 58.
Born in South Miami Hospital on June 18, 1956, Prebish graduated from Ransom Everglades before going to the University of Colorado at Boulder.
His wife said he followed his sister to Colorado. At 18, the Miami native had never seen snow.
But he quickly fell in love with the winter scene, the mountains, the skiing. He graduated in 1979 and went to California Western School of Law, where he graduated in 1982.
He briefly went back to Miami to work with his father, Harry W. Prebish, who was also a criminal defense attorney. The elder Prebish was known for for freeing an innocent man convicted of murder and sentenced to life.
In 1983, Gregory Prebish met his future wife while being stranded in the Boston airport because of a snowstorm. They were married in 1986, and eventually settled in Miami.
Prebish, who began his own practice, was passionate about what he did, his wife said. But he loved the mountains and wanted a change of scenery.
So they bought a house, enrolled their daughter in high school and moved to Jackson Hole. In 2009, he passed the Wyoming bar and began to practice law. He also served as a volunteer mountain host at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
“He always liked to help people,” she said.
In addition to his wife, Prebish is survived by daughter, Amelia, and his sister Deborah Gallagher.
Services will be held Feb. 7 at the top of the Bridger Gondola in Jackson Hole.