Mexican actor Pablo Lyle’s nightmare continues. Judge Marisa Tinkler has sentenced the interpreter, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after fatally beating Cuban Juan Ricardo Hernández, 63, on a Florida street in March 2019, to 5 years in prison and 8 years probation . This is one of the worst difficult cases I’ve ever had to deal with. My motivation is to get a fair sentence and this case hasn’t stopped being on my mind since 2019, this hasn’t stopped being on the minds and hearts of Mr. Hernández’s family and Mr. Lyle’s family, so many people are affected by what happened that day. Mr. Hernández didn’t deserve to die that day,” the judge said on Friday handing down the verdict. The judge considered mitigating factors to hand down their sentences, such as the defendants’ lack of a criminal record and remorse. At the nearly four-hour hearing, the 36-year-old actor wore a prison uniform and appeared visibly tense. The defense has 30 days to appeal the verdict.
For the first time during the entire process, the protagonist of the film Mirreyes vs. Godínez spoke. “It’s the result of something I’ve done and it’s always with me when I go to sleep, nobody would have wanted that to happen and nobody wants something like that, something that fists in seconds, eh Can I say what happened, I’m sorry, I’m really sorry from the bottom of my heart. I know you have lost a very important person in your life and I know there is nothing I can do to bring him back. I’m very sorry, it’s the most sincere apology I’ve ever offered in my life,” he said, sobbing between sentences in English and Spanish.
The actor’s brother-in-law, Lucas Delfino, took the floor to apologize to the Hernández family, who were in the room, and again put forward the defense that both he and Lyle were acting out of fear and in self-defense. “I think the way to heal our hearts is not by holding on to suffering and pain,” he said. Silvia Lyle and Ana Araujo, the actor’s sister and wife, also spoke in the audience. “I’m proud of you Pablo, many can judge a reaction but not everyone can see what I saw. I have witnessed your pain, your regrets and the goodness of your great spirit,” his wife said to the actor, visibly moved.
Both the deceased’s ex-partner, Mercedes Arce, and Juan Hernández, the victim’s son, applied to the judge for the maximum sentence of 15 years against the actor. “It was four very tough years. My father was a gentleman who enjoyed good health. I never thought something like this would happen to my father, he was a man of principles and he was a man of promises that were kept. In 2011 he came to this country and made me a promise: “Don’t worry that he would bring me to this country” and he kept it, so I want you to know that my father is very proud, that I am here representing him and our family. So I would ask, Your Honor, that Mr. Pablo Lyle receive the maximum sentence,” he said.
Prosecutors supported the motion of Fernández’s relatives. “We speak of irresponsibility, the accused holds the victim responsible for his actions. The defendant’s decisions justify consequences,” the prosecutor said. To the contrary, the defendant’s attorneys begged the judge for clemency, arguing that fear and the need to protect his family kept Lyle from having a criminal record, for which they sought a year and a day in prison.
Two months ago, the judge denied Lyle’s request for a new trial and upheld a guilty verdict handed down by a jury last October. At the time, the actor’s legal defense sought to have the trial and sentence set aside, arguing that there were inconsistencies and that no evidence or witnesses had been admitted to show that the actor acted out of fear for his life and that of his children. From the beginning of the trial, Lyle’s attorneys alleged that he acted in self-defense, but that allegation was dismissed by a higher court that ordered the trial. On the contrary, US prosecutors assured the jury that the victim’s last words were, “Please don’t hurt me,” before she fell and fatally injured herself.
2019 was to be the best year of Pablo Lyle’s career. At the age of 32 and having spent half his life as a soap opera heartthrob, in January he celebrated the success of his first film role in Mirreyes vs. Godínez. In less than five minutes that afternoon of March 31, his destiny took a radical turn. That day, after a family vacation, the interpreter was on his way to the airport in Miami, Florida with his family when he encountered a traffic incident. The surveillance cameras showed the actor beating a man who was lying on the ground. The victim, of Cuban descent, died of “blunt head trauma” four days after the attack. At this point, Miami authorities forced Lyle to return to the United States.
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