Miami-Dade County

Jury finds Miami teen guilty in murder of blind man’s caretaker

Javier Izquierdo, who is blind from a rare eye cancer, testified last week at the trial of a Miami teen accused of murdering his brother.
Javier Izquierdo, who is blind from a rare eye cancer, testified last week at the trial of a Miami teen accused of murdering his brother. Miami Herald

Jurors found a 15-year-old is to blame for the botched robbery and murder of a Miami man who was walking his blind brother home from a neighborhood market.

On trial was Juaquan Hall, who was accused of fatally shooting Ramiro “Tony” Izquierdo, 20, in August 2015, as he walked his sibling back from a market in Liberty City. The jury deliberated for a few hours in finding him guilty of first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Izquierdo was the primary caretaker for Javier Izquierdo, 22, who is blind from a rare eye cancer. Javier Izquierdo listened to the closing aguments in court, along with his mother and other relatives.

That summer day, Tony Izquierdo carefully walked his brother to a nearby store to buy shampoo and pastries. Hall was just 14 when he is alleged to have gunned down Izquierdo.

“He was not a child,” prosecutor Alicia Priovolos told jurors on Thursday. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”

At trial, prosecutors Priovolos and Michael Von Zamft presented an eyewitness who identified Hall as the shooter. His distinct jacket was also found near the scene, and he told various stories to police about where he was on the day of the shooting.

But Hall’s defense presented witnesses who claimed he was practicing football at a nearby park that day. “The world’s lousiest investigation,” lawyer Joe Klock said of the Miami-Dade police probe.

Hall’s lawyers also shifted the blame to Hall’s friend, Terrence Smith, who was arrested that day. .He is awaiting trial, although jurors did not hear that he, too, was charged with participating in the murder.

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