A Miramar man who shot and killed a recent Cuban immigrant in a violent carjacking pleaded guilty Thursday and agreed to serve 35 years in prison.
In December 2006, Kristopher Hoyos shot Abilio Perez, 37, over a dozen times at a Hialeah gas station, stealing his new silver Chrysler 300. The car was later found torched in Pembroke Pines.
The violent death was particularly tragic because Perez had arrived in the United States seven months earlier — after 15 failed attempts to flee Cuba. He finally secured a visa and came to Miami, where he began work as a plumber.
On the day he was slain, Perez was to start English classes.
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“God had mercy on you that you only got 35 years. You gave my brother 13 shots with no compassion,” Perez’s sister, Zakdaisy Munoz, told Hoyos.
Perez’s daughter, Zailet Hernandez, wept as she told Hoyos how she became an orphan at 16.
“Today I’m here to tell you I forgive you. I hope God will forgive you,” she said. “Look at my face so when you’re back in your cell, you’ll remember what you did.”
Hoyos, sitting in the defendant’s box, showed no emotion as he listened.
Hoyos and Mario Perez, no relation to the victim, were later captured in North Carolina, where they fled after the murder. Both men were 19 years old at the time.
Hialeah police said the two confessed to two female friends before taking a train north to escape. Hoyos later claimed to detectives that he fired because he believed Abilio Perez was reaching for a weapon.
Mario Perez has already pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate against Hoyos.
Hoyos pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, armed robbery and two other felonies.