Criminal Past Cases
While Brian Kirlew is known for taking on difficult cases and getting great results for his clients, by reading these web pages you understand that the Kirlew Law Firm cannot guarantee results based upon prior cases or successes. Each case is different and the Firm cannot promise a favorable result. These cases only represent a small sample of our prior success and results.
Pierre, at the age of 16, was indicted and charged with two counts of first-degree premeditated murder. The state alleged that Pierre planned and plotted an execution style murder of two individuals whom he harbored a beef with from years earlier. According to the prosecution, Pierre was jumped by two young men in the neighborhood who claimed that Pierre burglarized their home a year prior. Pierre allegedly harbored this bad blood for a year and planned to execute the two men who blamed for the incident. The state’s theory is that Pierre left his phone at this home, walked to a dark area in North Miami Beach and waited in the dark to kill both men. Pierre is then alleged to shoot at 3 men viewing a hip-hop video on the hood of their car. Two of the men were killed and one of the men survived. The survivor couldn’t identify who the shooter was. After the shooting, Pierre was alleged to have confessed his crimes to two of his friends in the neighborhood. Those two friends would form the crux of the prosecution’s case and become their primary witnesses.
Despite what seemed like a very strong case for the prosecution, Brian began a thorough investigation into Pierre’s case. After months of investigation, depositions and interviews, Brian Kirlew was able to mount a strong defense of Pierre. Midway through investigation of Pierre’s case, Pierre was alleged to have tampered with a witness in a jail phone call. The prosecution filed another case against Pierre where he faced a mandatory life sentenced in addition to his pending murder case. Things couldn’t possibly be worse for Pierre at this point. He was facing a double murder case and a tampering case punishable by life in prison. He was only 18 years old at that point. After months of back and forth, various depositions, motions and hearings on admissible evidence, the prosecution finally conceded and dismissed both counts of first degree premediated murder against Pierre. Brian was able to secure a plea deal to 364 days in the county jail to Pierre’s open tampering case and his unrelated burglary charge. Pierre has since been released from custody and has a second chance on life.
Lazo was accused of killing a female lover in a jealous fit of rage. According to the police, Lazo was in constant communication with the victim prior to her death. The victim’s friend dropped her off at Lazo’s last known place of employment in the late evening hours. The police obtain phone records to show that Lazo contacted the victim over a hundred times in the hours leading up to her disappearance. The police further introduced evidence that Lazo made phone calls to his mother and sister from the victim’s cellphone after the victim was last seen alive. To make matters worse, a neighbor identified Lazo as the person who ransacked the victim’s apartment shortly after the victim was last seen alive. The victim’s body would be found days later in a car. She died of blunt force trauma and Lazo’s DNA was allegedly found on her inner thigh.
While this case seemed daunting at it it’s inception, through the defense investigation and preparation it became apparent that the case wasn’t was cut and dry as the police initially believed. Brian Kirlew and his investigative team was able to prove that the last person so see the victim alive identified the victim’s ex-husband as the man who she saw the victim with. Furthermore, the neighbor who allegedly told the police that Lazo ransacked the victim’s apartment, when shown a picture of the victim’s ex-husband, was no longer sure it was Lazo. While the phone calls and messages were damaging, they were not dispositive of murder. After analyzing the DNA, the defense team was able t show that the DNA was only accurate as to 1 in 33 persons. So there was a potential for tens of thousands of Miami-Dade resident as potential culprits. Faced with a case that was getting weaker by the day, the State agreed to a Defense counter offer of 8 years in prison. Lazo facing a guaranteed life sentence if he were to be convicted, quickly accepted the 8-year plea deal to close the case.
Baez-Romero was accused of a string of crimes stretching into two counties. In Miami-Dade, he was alleged to have robbed a video store in Hialeah, with a firearm, and stole nearly a $1000 from the safe. He was also accused of committing a strong-arm robbery of a women at a Hialeah flea market where he was alleged to have snatched a chain from her neck. Lastly, he was accused of conspiring with a friend in Monroe county to steal video and diving equipment from a marine store. Baez-Romero was being held in custody in Miami-Dade facing one life felony and a slew of other felonies. He didn’t have a bond and was looking at life imprisonment. After being retained, Brian Kirlew immediately filed for an Arthur hearing to request that Baez-Romero be given a bond. Mr. Kirlew presented credible evidence that the alleged firearm was a paint ball gun and therefore did not qualify for the life imprisonment enhancement. The judge agreed with Mr. Kirlew and granted Baez-Romero a bond. After nearly two years of investigation and litigation, Mr. Kirlew was able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor that resulted in Baez-Romero completing two years of house arrest followed by three years of probation for the charges pending in Miami-Dade. The pending case in Monroe county was closed to credit for time served.
Ilochonwu is a well-known Nigerian rapper. He, and a friend, Dammy Krane, also a well-known Nigerian rapper, were arrested at the Miami-Opa Locka airport where they attempted to board a private jet and fly back to their home in Maryland. Per the police investigators, stolen credit cards were used to reserve a private jet with an app called “Tap Jet”. The account information stored on the app were later linked to Ilochonwu and Krane. Both men were arrested at the airport attempting to board the plane with various cellphones and fraudulent credit cards. Investigators believes that both men stole credit card data, created fake cards and were using them to book private jet travel, pay for luxury hotels on South Beach and pay for the production of high-end music videos to launch their respective rap careers in the United States. To make matters worse, Ilochonwu was out on bond on an unrelated fraud and grand theft case stemming from a luxury hotel rental on South Beach, that investigators believed stolen credit card information was used to pay for the lodging. Ilochonwu, as a result of the new arrest at the airport, was being held without a bond at the Miami-Dade County jail.
Shortly after being retained, Brian Kirlew challenged the sufficiency of the evidence in the “private jet” case and whether investigators truly had enough to prove that Ilochonwu knew the credit card data was stolen and that the private jet was paid for with a fraudulent credit card. In a pre-trial hearing, Mr. Kirlew argued to the Court that the state’s evidence lacked proof that Ilochonwu personally possessed any of the stolen credit cards, that he obtained any of the information personally and the reservation of the jet, while made in his name, was made from a cellphone found to be in the possession of his codefendant, Dammy Krane. The Court agreed and reversed it’s prior ruling holding Ilochonwu without a bond. Shortly after Ilochonwu bonded out and returned to Maryland, Mr. Kirlew was able to secure a dismissal of the charges against him. The prior case, involving the alleged fraud on South Beach, was resolved to a diversion program. After six months, those charges were dismissed as well.
Lopez was accused of trafficking in cocaine. Per the investigators, Lopez engaged a confidential informant he met a local Miami gentlemen’s club about the distribution of cocaine. Lopez allegedly offered to supply the informant with cocaine. Several weeks of communications began between Lopez and the informant regarding this drug deal. While delivering the narcotics to the informant, Lopez was apprehended and charged with trafficking in cocaine. Lopez faced a three-year minimum mandatory sentence and mandatory deportation to his native Colombia as a result of his being accused of a trafficking.
Shortly after being retained, Brian Kirlew poured through the discovery materials to see if there was any holes or loose ends in the police investigation. After a few hours, Brian discovered that the informant began communication with Lopez four weeks prior to the date claimed in the police reports. Brian filed a motion compelling additional documentation from the police department and after reviewing those documents, it was clear that the informant was a “super snitch” whose entire existence was to help law enforcement officers throughout the state arrest and charge people with drug crimes. The informant was a drug trafficker himself and only stayed out of prison by becoming an informant. While taking the depositions, Mr. Kirlew confronted the detectives with this information about their informant. The detectives refused to answer Mr. Kirlew’s pointed questions on how they came to employ serial drug trafficker as their informant. Mr. Kirlew then fled a motion to compel the disclosure of the informant. Rather than comply, the State offered Lopez a plea deal involving probation if the defense would agree to drop their motion to compel. Lopez agreed and was sentenced to 3 years of probation in lieu of 3 years in prison.
Shortly after being placed on probation, Immigration and Customs Officers (ICE) arrested Lopez and placed him in deportation proceedings. Brian Kirlew was once again retained by the Lopez family to fight the deportation charges. With Special Counsel Guillermo Maceda, Mr. Kirlew prepared a complete and compelling appellate packet designed to convince the immigration judge that Lopez was a law-abiding citizen until his arrest for trafficking, that the trafficking charges themselves were the result of police entrapment and that Lopez should be given another chance to remain in the United States. After a grueling hearing, the immigration judge agreed and cancelled Lopez’s deportation. Lopez is now home with his family and back in college in Miami.
Graham was charged with domestic strangulation, false imprisonment and battery against the mother of his two children and former girlfriend. Graham was a career criminal and faced a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted of all the charges. The alleged victim testified against Graham at trial and implicated him with all of the alleged crimes. The prosecution introduced a 911 call that captured the altercation between Graham and the alleged victim, including the screaming, banging and tussling of the parties. Despite this evidence, Brian Kirlew was able to show that the prosecution’s allegations were unfounded from the physical evidence. Brian highlighted that the alleged victim, despite alleging that she was choked for 5 minutes, didn’t have any bruising or swelling around her neck. Brian pointed out that the officer who first arrived on scene only observed a small contusion on the alleged victims four head and a small cut on her inner lip despite her testimony to the contrary. Brian Kirlew argued to the jury that Graham’s crimes amounted to nothing more than a simple battery, a misdemeanor in the first degree. The jury accepted Brian’s theory of defense and acquitted Graham of all the felonies. Graham was sentenced to time served after the trial and released from jail the same night.
Patterson was alleged to have shot a rival outside of a Cumberland Farms gas station in Hollywood, FL five (5) times in the back in retaliation for a prior assault against a mutual love interest. According to the detectives, Patterson accompanied his female lover from Miami to Broward County to confront the alleged victim and retaliate against him for his treatment of this mutual love interest. The video evidence showed Patterson enter the convenience store to observe the interaction of the alleged victim and the female in question for several minutes. Patterson then exited the store and a short while thereafter, the alleged victim also exited the store with the female. Within seconds, 5-6 shots rung out from the north. The alleged victim fled west and was hit 5 times in the back as he ran away from the gun shots. Patterson and his female companion immediately fled the scene in a white car heading east and then north. About five minutes later, shots rang out again at a secondary location, where the police alleged Patterson confronted the victim again and tried to shoot him through his car window into the victim’s car.
Patterson was charged with attempted murder, discharging a firearm into a occupied vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Patterson faced a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison up to life. To make matters worse, Patterson was on probation for 4 felony counts and was designated as a career criminal. Undeterred, Brian Kirlew and his investigator got to work on Patterson’s case immediately. The defense team was able to uncover police reports to show that the alleged victim was stalking the Patterson’s female lover for months, threatened to kill her and even tried to run her off the road with his car. Brian interviewed and deposed every single person who was present at the gas station that day, including all the detectives who investigated the case, and was able to show that the alleged victim was no victim at all. Brian painted him as an obsessed jilted lover who stalked, harassed and even committed a sexual battery against Patterson’s female lover in the months prior to the shooting. Brian then filed a motion to dismiss and sought immunity for Patterson under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. The prosecution, concerned that the tide had turned against them and that Patterson might prevail, offered a global plea offer to close out Patterson’s open felony and probation violation to 5 years state prison. Patterson accepted the plea offer and was able to avoid a life sentence as a habitual felony offender.
Ortega was charged with a capital felony that carried a life minimum mandatory. He was accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old child under his care. The facts, as alleged, were serious and despicable. To make matters worse, Ortega allegedly provided a confession to the detectives investigating the case. Soon after being booked into the jail and being held without a bond, Ortega, now hopeless and fearful that he would never be released from jail, contacted Brian Kirlew for help.
Undeterred by the horrible allegations facing Ortega, Brian Kirlew began his work in earnest seeking an equitable resolution to his case. Brian employed the services of mitigation specialist, investigator and process server to begin his investigation of the case. A few weeks after reviewing the documents and Ortega’s statement, Brian began to believe that his alleged confession was forced by the detectives. The legal strategy involved driving a wedge between the confession and its admissibility in trial, while simultaneously seeking to mitigate Ortega’s exposure criminally. After 18 months of hard work, Brian was able to secure a plea deal for Ortega. Ortega was sentenced to credit for time served and five years of probation to a reduced, non-sexual charge. Ortega was immediately released from custody, did not have to register as a sex offender and is now living a productive life in South Florida.
At the age of 19, Marc was arrested for first degree murder. In December of 2012, Marc was allegedly at a basketball court in North Miami Beach when he was confronted by the victim. The victim and Marc apparently had bad blood stemming back to prior gang affiliation and drug dealing. According to the eye witnesses, the victim got into a heated exchange with Marc on the basketball court in the moments prior to the shooting. Several witnesses told police officers that the same person who argued with the victim in the moments before the shooting, returned less than 20 minutes later when he shot the victim 5 times and killed him. Two witnesses identified Marc from a photo lineup and one of the witnesses was certain in the identification because he attended high school with Marc. Marc was later arrested and confessed to the crime in a detailed two hour statement. Marc then made another incriminatory statement to a detective as he was being booked into the Dade County Jail.
Despites these difficult facts, Brian Kirlew went to work right away to investigate Marc’s case and search for any and all possible avenues to defend Marc. After months of investigation and countless depositions, Brian was able to identify an issue with Marc’s confession. Brian researched and filed a motion to suppress Marc’s confession. The State, unable to defense against Brian Kirlew’s motion to suppress the confession, agreed that Brian was right in his interpretation of the law and the court suppressed Marc’s confession. Moments before trial, Brian moved to suppress the incriminatory statement Marc made to the detective as he was being booked into the jail. The Court agreed and suppressed the statement thereby precluding it from coming into evidence before the jury. With a clean slate, Brian repeatedly called into question the sufficiency of the evidence during the trial. Brian was able to show through cross examining the lead detective that the primary state witness provided three separate and inconsistent statements regarding what he saw the day of the shooting. Another witness, under intense cross examination by Mr. Kirlew, finally relented and told the jury that he identified another man as the potential shooter the day of the incident. After two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty to the charge of Second Degree Murder.
S.H. was a troubled young lady who had a difficult upbringing in the Southern part of Miami-Dade County. At the age of 7, S.H. was the victim of sexual assault by her stepfather. The years that would follow were no better. S.H. began to abuse drugs and alcohol, started committing petty crimes and found herself a mother as a teenager. To make matters worse, her newborn son had special needs and required constant medical attention. Down on her luck, dead broke and severely depressed from a difficult life, S.H. hatched a plan to burglarize a neighbor’s house. She was the ring leader and convinced two other young adults to join in on her conspiracy. They stole thousands of dollars from the neighbor and pawned the loot at a local pawn shop. S.H. sign the pawn receipt and provided a fingerprint linking her to the crime. Miami-Dade detectives quickly solved the case and S.H., along with her coconspirators, were arrested and charged with a slew of felonies. Despite being the ring leader and the most culpable Defendant, Brian Kirlew was able to present a detailed mitigation of S.H., her prior abuse, and her need for counseling and medication. Mr. Kirlew reminded the prosecution that S.H. has been a victim her entire life and her current predicament was nothing more than a delayed outcome from the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. The prosecution agreed. S.H. received a withhold of adjudication on three felony cases, probation and substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling. Each of her codefendants were convicted and served at least a year in jail.
Young was a 21 year old college student at the time of her arrest. Young was arrested in Hollywood, Florida in Broward County, alleged to have committed a domestic battery against her sister and tampering with a witness. Never having been in trouble, Young now faced the possibility of getting kicked out of school and becoming a convicted felon. Everything she worked for was in jeopardy. Brian Kirlew, knowing the dire circumstances that Young faced, immediately began a dialogue with the prosecution. The prosecution relented and wanted Young to plead guilty to misdemeanor batter and do 12 months of probation with anger management. Unsatisfied with the State’s concession, Brian Kirlew did a little more digging and had the opportunity to speak with the victim, Young’s sister. After speaking with Young’s sister, Brian was able to convince the prosecuting State Attorney to outright dismiss the charges against you. Young went out to graduate university with high honors in May 2016.
Warren is alleged to have followed a woman he did not know to a dim lit alleyway after she refused his advances for sex in exchange for money. There, Warren was alleged to have battered the alleged victim, choking her unconscious several times, punching her and forcing himself on her. Warren’s DNA was found inside the victim’s vagina and the alleged victim had noticeable injuries consistent with the allegations. Warren allegedly confessed to the crime at the Miami-Dade Sexual Battery bureau. Warren faced a possible life sentence if convicted and a minimum mandatory of 30 years on each count if convicted.
Through effective cross examination, Warren’s attorney Brian Kirlew was able to show that the victim gave inconsistent statements to the first responding officer and the lead detective. Brian called into question the state’s entire theory and through a civilian witness proved to the jury that the victim lied when she claimed she never knew Warren prior to the attack. The witness also admitted that the alleged victim went willing into the alley way with Warren. Brian attacked the lead detective’s assertion that Warren confessed to the crime by pointing out that he didn’t record the confession despite the fact that four rooms in the bureau had recording equipment available. Brian then successfully argued to the jury that the alleged victim consented to sex with Warren in exchange for drugs and was only battered by Warren subsequent to the consensual sex. Warren was acquitted of the Sexual Battery with Injury and Strong Armed Robbery counts. Warren was convicted of misdemeanor battery and sentenced to time served.
Several members of the Miami-Dade Police Department were conducting a narcotics operation in Southern Miami-Dade County. The detectives in charge of the operation alleged that Johnson and another male were engaging in hand to hand transactions on the front porch of Johnson’s home. The detectives observed the transactions and surrounded the house. Johnson, his mother, little sister and other family members were detained by the police. The detectives then obtained permission to search the home of Johnson and found trafficking amounts of rock and powder cocaine, and marijuana in the top drawer of the dresser in Johnson’s bedroom. Because of the amount of narcotics retrieved, Johnson faced a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 3 years and a maximum of 60 years in prison. Johnson also provided a confession to the police admitting that the drugs were his and that sold drugs.
Despite the evidence seized and Johnson’s confession, Brian Kirlew remained undaunted and began a thorough investigation of the case. Brian Kirlew was able to obtain IP records from Microsoft that show that Johnson was playing a video game online with other individuals at the time the police alleged to have observed him conducting the narcotics transactions. Brian Kirlew then located a potential witness who lived in Tampa and playing the game online with Johnson at the time of the alleged transactions. This witness provided evidence that the police officers entered the room without a warrant and prior to getting consent to search the home. The witness also provided evidence that he heard through the Xbox headset that the police officers involved were looking for guns and some evidence to implicate Johnson. Mr. Kirlew then gets a court order to fingerprint the dozens of baggies of narcotics found in the home. None of the fingerprints found on the baggies matched those of Johnson. As a result of Mr. Kirlew’s efforts, the prosecution rearing that there case was unraveling before their eyes, waived the minimum mandatory sentence of 3 years. Johnson accepted a plea deal to reduced charges and was sentenced to 3 years’ probation with early termination at 18 months. The prosecution agreed to withhold adjudication and as a result, Johnson is not a convicted felon and still has his civil rights.
Following a verbal dispute with a maintenance worker at his apartment complex in North Miami Beach, Washington allegedly retrieved a semiautomatic handgun and pointing it at the maintenance worker in a threatening manner. Soon after, Washington was alleged to have fled the scene where he was stopped by a North Miami Beach Police Officer. After searching the vehicle, the police officer testified that he found a 9mm Ruger handgun, 34 rounds of ammunition, and two magazine clips under the driver’s seat of Washington’s car. Brian Kirlew challenged the truthfulness of the victim’s testimony and insisted that the State lacked proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Washington knew the weapons were under the driver’s side seat. Washington testified that other people had access to the car and that he did not know about the weapons under the seat. The jury found Washington Not Guilty of both counts.
In the early 2000s, Torre was accused and convicted of Kidnapping and Sexually Assaulting a female companion. Torre was placed on community control/probation and violated the conditions of his release by fleeing to South America. Facing life in prison without the possibility of parole for an open community control/probation violation, Torre was a man without a country. Brian Kirlew successfully negotiated a plea agreement with the State that allowed Torre to return to the United States and serve a maximum of 364 days in the county jail and a termination of his community control/probation. Through contacts in a foreign embassy, Brian was able to assist with getting Torre the appropriate travel documents and arranged for his surrender to local authorities. Torre is now back in the U.S. and looking forward to his new life as a free man.
In a case featuring some of the most graphic crime scene photos and forensic evidence ever introduced in a criminal trial, Williams was charged with three counts of Vehicular Manslaughter, Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Death, Fleeing and Eluding the Police and Fleeing the Scene of an Accident. The tragic circumstances of this case involving the death of three innocent peopled garnered much media attention. Williams was as unpopular a defendant as they come and he was vilified by the local media. The state introduced Williams’ tape confession and DNA evidence taken from the driver side airbag of the Chevy Van proving that Williams was the driver of the van. Police officers also testified that Williams ran a red light and led the police on a high speed car chase earlier that evening. Williams was a career criminal and faced a mandatory life sentence if convicted at trial. Despite the overwhelming evidence against Williams, Brian Kirlew remained undaunted in his zealous representation of his client. Brian challenged the State’s evidence and effectively cross-examined the witnesses called during the trial. After three hours of jury deliberations and question from the jury indicating that they may not have believed the confession, Brian was able to negotiate a 20 year plea deal with the prosecutors and save Williams from life in prison had he been convicted.
Crawford was alleged to be documented gang member in the City of Miami Gardens and suspected of committing various violent crimes. The victim of the charged Armed Robbery with a Firearm described knowing Crawford from childhood and said she was a 100% sure he was the person who robbed her at gun point in a Miami Gardens park. Through effective cross-examination, the defense discredited the victim’s testimony and showed the jury that she made inconsistent statements to the police officers investigating the case. The defense introduced evidence to show Crawford was attending school as early as thirty minutes prior some fifteen miles away. The jury returned a Not Guilty verdict after fifteen minutes of deliberation. Brian successfully persuaded the State to reduce the remaining Armed Robbery with a Firearm charge against Crawford to a Grand Theft. Crawford was released with credit for time served.
Payoute and an alleged accomplice where alleged to have robbed an elderly man at local North Miami dry cleaner on two separate occasions. The victim described Payoute as a neighborhood kid who he knew and was certain he was the perpetrator of the crimes charged. Brian Kirlew effectively cross-examined the victim and got him to commit that he never told the first responding officer that Payoute was 5ft, 7in (Payoute was 6ft, 2in). The defense later called that first responding officer to testify to the victim’s contradictions and called into question the validity of the identification made by the victim. Payoute was Acquitted and the following day the State dropped the addition Armed Robbery with a Firearm charge. Payoute is now a free man.
Jackson was charged with Premeditated Attempted Murder. The State alleged that Jackson planned to attack a rival outside of a Homestead market in retaliation for an earlier fight. Jackson faced life in prison if convicted. The victim testified to the manner in which Jackson viciously attacked him causing severe injuries and permanent disfigurement and disability. Brian Kirlew was able to effectively confront the victim on his prior acts of violence towards Jackson and others; thus casting the victim as a bully and neighborhood menace. Despite the overwhelming evidence against Jackson, the jury returned a Guilty Verdict to Attempted Manslaughter. Jackson was sentenced to 39 months in prison (24 months of which he had credit).
Roscoe was accused of using a heavy coffee cup and smashing it across the head of Cruz. Cruz testified that Roscoe, without any justification, just attacked him outside his home and caused him to have a deep laceration to his head and ear requiring 18 stiches. The defense through cross examination of the state’s witnesses was able to point out to different versions of the story that Cruz told Detective Garcia and what he actually testified to on the stand. Additionally, the defense presented a witness who was told the jury that Cruz started the altercation and cut Roscoe on his hand. Roscoe faced a minimum mandatory sentence of 30 years in prison as a career criminal. The jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty in less than 30 minutes.
McKinney was charged with Trafficking in Heroin and Possession of Marijuana. The police officers testified that they saw McKinney throw something through the passenger side window of a newer model Durango. Inside the passenger compartment, the officers told the jury that they found a large baggie containing trafficking amounts of Heroin and smaller amounts of Marijuana. The police also testified that McKinney had the keys to the Durango around his neck and that he was the only person seen in the location of the SUV. Brian Kirlew successfully cross-examined the detective and pointed out to the jury that the police could not determine who owned the Durango. Brian argued that McKinney was found with no money on him (a very inconvenient fact for someone who trafficks in Heroin) and there was no physical evidence linking McKinney to the Durango or its contents. McKinney was Acquitted after a short jury deliberation.
Collins is a convicted felon who was accused of assaulting another man at a bus stop with a firearm. A police officer nearby was flagged down and testified that he saw Collins throw what appeared to be a firearm into a trash bin. The officer retrieved the firearm and immediately arrested Collins and charged him with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Brian Kirlew successfully confronted the police officer witness and painted his testimony as lacking credibility and corroboration. Collins was Acquitted by the jury after a short deliberation.
Paz was accused of Driving under the Influence of Alcohol after a day of drinking and partying on South Beach. According to the arresting officers, Paz was found passed out behind the wheel of car with the engine running. The State introduced evidence that Paz failed the sobriety tests and his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. Brian Kirlew aggressively cross-examined the police officers on their incomplete investigation and challenged the accuracy of the breathalyzer test. Paz was found Not Guilty by the jury.
Scott was stopped for a traffic violation. The police officer testified that a strong odor of marijuana emitted from the car and Scott had blood shot eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. Scott failed the sobriety tests and a urine test revealed the presence of cocaine and marijuana in Scott’s system. Scott was subsequently charged with Driving under the Influence of a Controlled Substance (DUI). Brian Kirlew successfully argued to exclude the urine results as evidence in the trial and argued to the jury that thee State lacked evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Scott was impaire. The jury found Scott Not Guilty.
Romero was stopped by the police after he was alleged to driving down the wrong side of the road on US1 in South Miami. The officers told the jury that Romero appeared under the influence of alcohol with blood shot eyes, slurred speech, an odor of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. Romero failed the roadside tests, was arrested and charged with DUI. Romero was then accused of refusing to submit to a breath test. Through a complete investigation, Brian presented evidence that it was raining heavy the night of Romero’s arrest and US1 was blocked by a major accident which required Romero to make the illegal u-turn the police officers accused him of making. Through cross-examination, Brian was able to get the officers to admit that Romero had no alternative but to go the wrong was on US1 for a few blocks to avoid the accident ahead. An additional witness called by the Defense testified that Romero suffered an allergy attack a few hours earlier and that he was not drinking. Romero was Acquitted of all charges.
Shaw was accused of Impersonating a Police Officer and conducting “fake” detentions where he was alleged to have frisked and improperly detained motorists. Shaw was also alleged to have Openly Carried a Firearm in violation of Florida law. Through pre-trial motions and investigation, the defense was able to get most of the counts against Shaw dismissed prior to trial. During trial, the defense argued that Shaw’s gun was in a holster and not openly carried as alleged by the police officers. Shaw was Acquitted of all remaining charges.
Hialeah police officers alleged that Santana attacked them and he was charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. The officers further alleged during trial that Santana was a well known trouble maker and that he impeded their investigation of a known felon. Brian was able to successfully question the police officers and showed the jury the inconsistencies in their testimony. Additional witnesses were called by the defense and those witnesses corroborated Santana’s version of events that police entered his property without a warrant and forced their way into his home. The jury found Santana Not Guilty.
On Christmas night, 2018, Velazquez overheard a domestic dispute at a neighbor’s home in Kissimmee, Florida. According to the police reports, Velazquez retrieved his firearm and walked over to a mutual neighbor’s home to inquire about the dispute. It was at that time Velazquez was alleged to have brandished the firearm and told his neighbor that if there was any other trouble to alert him and he would intervene. A few minutes later, Velazquez heard the neighbors arguing again and saw a male throw a large rock through the sliding glass door and enter the property. Unbeknownst to Velazquez, the neighbor resided at the property and had a right to be there. None the less, Velazquez confronted the man while armed with his gun. The man did not heed the warnings of Velazquez to stand still and wait for police to arrive. The man continued walking towards Velazquez. The man was unarmed. It was at that time Velazquez fired two shots at the man center mass, killing him within minutes.
After the police arrived, Velazquez cooperated with the investigation and provided a full statement. The 911 call also corroborated Velazquez’s account of events. Velazquez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Velazquez was held without a bond at the Osceola Jail.
Immediately after being retained, Brian Kirlew began retrieving all of the police reports and audio statements of the witnesses. Upon the initial review of the discovery, it was clear that this would be a stand your ground case. Even though Velazquez was facing life in prison with a possible death sentence, Brian Kirlew remained confident that the case was defensible and that Velazquez would ultimately be exonerated of first-degree murder.
The one key piece of evidence was the fact that the victim used a large rock to break the sliding glass door and enter the property. This act by the vicitm could easily be perceived as a forcible felony which permits another to use deadly force. Brian pressed his defense with the prosecutor and argued that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law permitted Velazquez conduct even though it appeared that he over reacted. The proseuctor and Brian agreed that they would formaly delay the indictment of Velazquez for both parties to conduct additional investigation. Despite the seriousness of the case, Brian was able to successfully negotiate a plea within 6 months of being retained. The deal involved the first-degree murder being reduced to an aggravated assault with a firearm. Velazquez plead guilty and was sentenced to five years of probation and immediately released from jail.