Three years and four months after a 61-year-old financial executive’s decomposed body was found in his blood-spattered South Beach luxury condominium, his roommate was sentenced for second-degree murder.
Jonathan Alonso, 33, pleaded guilty and got 20 years and six months in prison for ending his relationship with Louis Piper by stabbing Piper’s head and neck in Piper’s 12th floor Sunset Harbour South home in April 2016. After Alonso does his prison time, he’ll be on probation for 10 years.
According to a spokesperson for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, “the sentence imposed was a bottom of the guidelines plea offer extended by the court to the defendant over our prosecutor’s objection, but with the approval of the next-of-kin who was present in court for the plea.”
Alonso’s previous criminal history includes grand theft, cocaine possession and marijuana and drug possession.
Six months before Alonso murdered Piper, Miami-Dade court records say Piper had him legally evicted from the apartment. But Alonso apparently convinced Piper to let him move back into the apartment at 1800 Sunset Harbour Drive. Facebook pictures posted between the time of the eviction and the murder showed the two socializing as a couple.
But when Piper didn’t show up for his job at Bayview Asset Management, where he worked as a vice president, a coworker became concerned and got three Sunset Harbour South building staff members to go to his apartment to check on him on April 6. Police said after knocking, they got no answer other than Piper’s dog barking, so the concierge, who sometimes walked the dog for Piper, used a spare key to enter.
Alonso came in from the balcony to block the trio from getting too far in the apartment. Miami Beach police said Alonso, who had been there all along, told building staff he’d last seen Piper four days before and then said he’d seen him the morning of April 5.
Employees called police. Alonso left the building, shrugging off questions from the concierge as he left. Officers arrived to find, according to the arrest report, “suspect blood in the hallway leading to the bedrooms, suspect bloody footprints leading into the bedrooms... Additionally, they saw a deceased, unidentifiable male in an advanced state of decomposition in a bathroom.”
Two days later, hours after police released video of Alonso riding the elevator with Piper’s dog, he was found in Miami’s Museum Park with Piper’s credit cards.