Jury rejects death penalty in Coral Gables jogger-murder case

The man who fatally shot a Coral Gables jogger during a robbery will spend the rest of his life behind bars after jurors on Friday rejected the death penalty.

The jury deliberated only about 20 minutes before returning with a recommendation of life in prison for Kendrick Silver, 27, for the May 2007 slaying of Jose Marchese-Berrios.

The same 12-person jury earlier convicted Silver of murdering Marchese-Berrios, who staggered to his nearby apartment and died in the arms of his wife and son.

The case rocked Coral Gables at the time — the city hadn’t recorded a homicide in four years. Miami-Dade prosecutors say Silver and friend Oniel Pedley went on a robbery crime spree back in late 2006 and 2007, culminating in the takeover of a Delray Beach pizza joint in which three people were shot and wounded.

After a nine-hour manhunt, police found the pair hiding on a boat docked outside a home. Both have been convicted; Silver is doing 50 years, while Pedley got life behind bars.

During the penalty phase of the Coral Gables case, jurors heard about his conviction in the Delray case. Assistant Public Defender Edith Georgi told jurors Friday that he should be spared execution because of a troubled upbringing.

“A life recommendation will ensure he is never released, not even as an old man,” Georgi told the jury. “A life recommendation will tell Kendrick, ‘Your life has some value, but you will live with your crimes every day of your life.’”

Prosecutors announced Friday they will continue to seek the death penalty against Silver for another murder – the December 2006 slaying of security guard Solmeus Accimeus. He was shot to death outside his car at Esther’s restaurant in North Miami-Dade. Silver is still awaiting trial in that case.