Miami-Dade County

Despite brother’s testimony, jurors acquit Florida City man in murder case

Miami-Dade jurors late Wednesday acquitted a Florida City man whose brother testified against him in a 2006 drive-by killing.

Prosecutors said Francisco Ferniza, 32, leaned out of the passenger side of a moving car and shot Johnny Tijerina in South Miami-Dade.

The jurors acquitted him despite his own brother testifying that he drove the car and watched as Ferniza shot the man. The brother is serving probation as an accessory to murder.

Ferniza himself took the stand, admitting to pointing the gun at the man. But Ferniza said he was only trying to scare the man – and that a third man in the car was the real shooter.

“Based on the evidence and the law, the jury came to a just verdict,” said his lawyer, Richard Docobo.