Crime

Vaginal pain helps exonerate Miami man accused of murder

Elias Cadoza
Elias Cadoza Miami-Dade Police

A Miami man beat a murder rap — thanks to a woman's vaginal pain.

Prosecutors dropped the case Tuesday after Elias Cadoza presented an unusual alibi: Around the time of a fatal drive-by last October in Little Havana, he was actually at home calling 911 for his sister, who fell ill with extreme gynecological discomfort.

Even months later, paramedics remembered the pick-up because it was an unusual medical call for them. And they also recalled Cadoza waiting with his sister outside their Little Havana apartment.

“The paramedic clearly remembered Elias, who wanted to get into the ambulance with his sister,” said defense lawyer Jean-Michel D'Escoubet. “He also remembered Elias’ speech impediment.”

Cadoza wound up walking the one mile to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he waited for hours with his sister until she was discharged from the emergency room the next morning.

So why was Cadoza arrested?

Miami police detectives believed the testimony of 18-year-old Adela Santos, a friend of Cadoza’s family who swore that he was the man who shot and killed Carlos Rodriguez-Martinez.

The victim and a friend had just left a corner store and were walking along Northwest Eighth Avenue, near Third Street, on Oct. 27 when a gray Chevrolet rolled up. An argument took place between the men and the people inside the car. Somebody inside opened fire, even getting out and squeezing off more rounds.

Miami detectives tracked down the car and Santos, who admitted to being inside the Chevy during the shooting. She then implicated Cadoza, a middle-school dropout who supports his family doing odd jobs.

“We believe she was trying to cover up for her boyfriend, who was the real shooter,” D'Escoubet said.

Cadoza, 21, who was arrested in November, always denied being involved in the murder.

The Miami-Dade state attorney's office held off formally charging Cadoza, though he sat in jail for more than two months before he was released. D'Escoubet turned to private investigator Frank Miranda, who found the paramedics, one of whom provided a sworn statement to prosecutors.

Prosecutors concluded that Santos indeed had “fabricated” her story about Cadoza, according to an office spokesman.

Santos herself was charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder. And in unrelated cases, the teen is also accused of committing a string of unrelated burglaries.

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