- The defendant’s actions were fueled by fear for his family’s safety.
- The victim was seen approaching the defendant’s vehicle with one hand behind him, suggesting he was carrying a weapon.
- The judge noted there was no evidence to support the claim of a weapon being present during the confrontation.
After a hearing lasting more than three hours, Pablo Lyle was sentenced to five years in prison and eight years on probation before a court in Miami, Florida, in the United States. Judge Marisa Tinkler Méndez made this decision on February 2, 2023, but the legal process was postponed at least five times.
The Sentencing Decision
She also mentioned that the actor has 30 days to file an appeal starting February 3. The eight years of probation will be for him to attend anger management classes, plus he must complete 100 hours of community service.
“No one here will leave satisfied or forget the pain caused because we cannot forget what already happened. We can only try to influence the future,” the imparter of justice also mentioned minutes before handing down the sentence. It is important to mention that the time spent in house imprisonment before the trial will be considered.
According to Marisa Tinkler, the actor will return to his family upon serving a sentence imposed on him by the court. He will be able to take time to learn from what has happened and think about the terrible decision that the 36-year-old actor made, responding “perhaps to anger and insult.”
On March 31, 2019, the actor hit Jesus Ricardo Hernandez after a traffic altercation. Subsequently, the Cuban was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and died five days later. Lyle was convicted for this fact on October 4, 2022.
“On that day, I believe he acted not out of fear, but out of character and anger (…)forensic testimony showed that the punch was strong, and although it left no external injuries, it caused internal injuries and triggered a series of events that ended in the death of Mr. Hernandez,” said Tinkler.
The Defense’s Strategy
A day before the hearing, the actor’s defense initiated a new strategy in an attempt to reduce the sentence:
“There is another motion that was presented by Pablo Lyle’s team, by the defense, they are asking for the sentence to be substantially reduced from what the prosecution is recommending, which is recommending from nine to 15 years. They are asking for what in English is called ‘downward departure'”, made known by the lawyer Sandra Hoyos in conversation with “La mesa Caliente.”
The objective was to achieve a sentence of approximately one year deprived of his freedom. In contrast, the loved ones of the Cuban, then 63 years old, asked for the maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter, that is, 15 years in state prison.
Pablo Lyle’s Apology
Before hearing the sentence, Pablo Lyle apologized to the family of Jesús Ricardo Hernández: “I offer you the most sincere apology I have ever offered in my life. With all my heart, I am very sorry,” he said.
The Family’s Video and Point of View
During the hearing, the legal representative of the elderly man who died in 2019 showed a video of Jesús Ricardo Hernández’s mother.
Subsequently, a point made by Pablo Lyle’s defense was whether there really was anger in the actor’s actions, since the last thing he saw on the victim’s part was that he was hitting the car, he would have initiated the confrontation and also – initially – he would have seen the elderly man running toward the vehicle with one hand behind him, which would have suggested that he was carrying a weapon. Judge Marisa Tinkler mentioned that there was no evidence to show Lyle’s true thinking.
“What evidence do we have of what the gentleman was thinking at this time? What I ask you to do is to look at it from my client’s point of view. He sees Mr. Hernandez as a danger and seeks to evade him. First, Mr. Hernandez hit, cursing, and then the danger of the vehicle rolling onto 7th Street. Once it ends, by this time, he has not ceased to be a danger in my client’s mind, and that is what is observed and stated. There were children in the car, he says, ‘I was trying to protect my family.'”
“When you act with disdain towards another human being, you have to bear the consequences,” mentioned on his side, the lawyer of the Cuban family. In addition, he mentioned that Pablo Lyle decided to run to attack him and punch him in the face even though the danger was over since Jesús Ricardo was already walking towards his own vehicle.
For his part, the son of Jesus Ricardo Hernandez mentioned the following regarding his father:
“I believe that when you speak from the heart, there is no need to write or prepare something for what I am going to say now. I just want you to know that four weeks after the event, none of those present here know how his son and his family feel. That Sunday night when my mother called me to tell me that my father was in the hospital when we had spent some time together the day before, I don’t know how I got to the hospital, but I saw my father in that bed, and I didn’t want to believe it was him. He was a very cheerful person, very attentive to everyone, a beautiful person. There are no words to describe who my father was. It has been a very hard four years.”