No Criminal Charges For Teen Who Killed WaveRunner Thief
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBS4) – A Miami Shores teen and his mother won’t face criminal charges in the death of a man who was trying to steal a WaveRunner from behind their waterfront home in May 2011.
Prosecutors cleared Jack Davis and his mother Yasmin of any criminal wrongdoing in the death of 20-year-old Reynaldo Muñoz.
Jack, just 14 years old at the time, fired the single shotgun blast that killed Muñoz, a deaf man.
“They’ve been through hell. They did the right thing. They did what they believe is right. It is justified by the laws and the facts,” the Davises attorney, Jeffrey Weiner, told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana Tuesday just hours after the received a copy of the close-out memo from the State Attorney’s Office.
“They did nothing wrong,” he stressed.
Two years ago, police surrounded the home of attorney Jeffrey Davis minutes after his wife frantically dialed 911.
She told the dispatcher a “strange man” appeared on her property. At the time, she believed he was armed.
“He was stealing our, our WaveRunner and we tried to scare him and I shot the gun by mistake,” Yasmin Davis is heard saying in the 911 call. “There’s blood. I think he may be dead. I don’t know.”
Yasmin Davis later told police it was her son, Jack, who pulled the trigger.
“It was frightening beyond measure for my clients, the mother and the child,” Weiner explained. “The mother did what she needed to do in order to protect her family.”
Prosecutors said Muñoz planned to steal the personal watercraft and sell it for $2,000. His girlfriend, Carolina Lopez, was along for the ride. She dropped him off several houses away and Munoz swam to the seawall with a device that could start any WaveRunner. Lopez sped away to wait for him at the marina before he was shot and killed.
In the close-out memo, the prosecutor wrote, “the ‘appearance’ of danger was so real that a reasonably prudent and cautious person would have believed the danger could only have been avoided through the use of deadly force.”
In the end, prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting was not legally justified.
Reynaldo Muñoz’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against the Davises.
“The Munoz family is deeply saddened by the State’s decision to not bring criminal charges against Yasmin and Jack Davis for the wrongful killing of Reynaldo Muñoz. Regrettably, the State, not the victims, decides what criminal case will be filed,” attorney Juan Lucas Alvarez wrote in a statement provided to CBS4 News.
“The state’s decision, however, has no bearing on the Muñoz family’s decision and legal right to file a wrongful death action against the Davises,” Alvarez wrote. “The Muñoz family is determined to proceed with said civil action in an effort to seek some form of justice for the tragic loss of their son.”
Jack Davis is now 17 years old.
With manslaughter and murder charges off the table, his attorney said the teen is focused on his future.
“My hope is that both families can get on with their lives,” Weiner said. “They expected this. But when it finally comes out in writing, when it finally came out today, it was a relief.”