State Strikes Jailhouse Snitch As Witness In Clifford Friend Murder Trial
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South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMIAMI) – The trial of a man accused of killing his wife resumes Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. Closing arguments are expected around noon.
The defense said Clifford Friend will not testify.
During Thursday’s developments, the defense wanted a witness who testified Tuesday to admit to the jury that he lied.
Tuesday afternoon inmate Andres Garcia Florez testified for the prosecution that he and Clifford Friend watched a telenovela in jail last April. During the show’s episode, a drug kingpin killed his girlfriend by tying her to an anchor and dumping her into the sea after he found out she was a spy.
According to Garcia, Friend said “Wow it reminds me of what I did. It’s like déjà vu.”
Garcia added that Friend said, “It’s funny, I just saw myself on TV … that’s how it’s done.”
Friend, 58, is charged of first degree murder in the death of his ex-wife 35-year-old Lynne Friend.
The state moved Thursday to strike Florez as a witness.
“You’ve come to the conclusion that he perjured himself?” Judge Teresa Pooler asked of prosecutors.
“Yes,” replied Assistant State Attorney Marie Mato. “The state is moving to strike the testimony of witness Andres Garcia Florez. We cannot ask a witness to provide false testimony.”
The judge agreed to instruct the jury that Florez “fabricated his testimony” and it should be disregarded in its entirety.
Assistant State Attorney Frank Ledee told the judge he would conduct an investigation into “what we believe may be perjury.”
Florez, already a committed cocaine trafficker, now may face criminal charges of lying in court.
According to prosecutors Friend was enraged that his ex-wife had just won custody of their five-year old son in a bitter custody dispute. On August 28, 1994, he allegedly strangled her and then wrapped body in heavy chains and put it in a duffel bag. He then reportedly called a friend, Alan Gold, to come help him dispose of the body.
Prosecutors said the pair went out in Friend’s boat, put the anchor from the boat in the bag to make sure there was enough weight and then dumped the body. They were surprised by Custom’s agents who saw them dumping something overboard. As Friend’s boat raced away, the Customs boat chased them. The agents thought they were going after drug runners, but after stopping and questioning them, let Friend and Gold go.