MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Mexican telenovela star accused of punching and killing a man during a traffic incident last March appeared in court Wednesday.
Lyle, 33, is accused of throwing a punch that killed 63-year-old Juan Ricardo Hernandez. His attorneys contend Lyle threw a punch to defend himself and his family, as per Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
A prior judge rejected the argument that Lyle was standing his ground and that decision is under appeal.
Hernandez suffered a broken skull and internal bleeding and died four days later at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The incident took place on March 31. Lyle was a passenger in a car driven by his brother-in-law when he cut off Hernandez in the intersection of NW 27th Avenue and 14th Street.
At a stoplight, Hernandez ran up to the SUV Lyle was in and banged on the window. “He was very angry, his face was distorted with rage and anger,” said Lyle’s brother-in-law Lucas Delfino, who was driving. “He was banging on the window very loudly,” he said.
Lyle was captured on surveillance video running out of the passenger side of the vehicle towards Hernandez. His brother-in-law also got out of the car, but it was not in park and it started rolling into the intersection.
SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS CAPTURED THE PUNCH:
The brother-in-law ran back to the car to stop it from rolling and Hernandez walked back toward his own car. That is when the surveillance video shows Lyle running towards Hernandez and throwing and landing a single punch.
On Wednesday, attorneys for Lyle told the judge that their client is in the US on a tourist visa and is not allowed to work.
Lyle’s lawyers say that is not fair and that he should be allowed to return home to do that in order to support his wife and two children.
Attorney Bruce Lehr said, “He has been on house arrest and unable to be with his family.”
After the hearing, we spoke with Lyle’s attorneys.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench asked Phillip Reisenstein, “Why do you feel he should be allowed to return home?”
“He should be allowed to return home because he is presumed innocent and has shown himself to be responsible to this court.”
Lehr said, “When he went to Mexico and heard that charges were added, he came back. He needs to make a living. He needs to support his family.”
“That’s 10 months that Pablo has not been able to work and not been able to feed his family. He’s not going anywhere. This is punishing his family.”
A prosecutor expressed concerns that Lyle might not return if allowed to go to Mexico.
“What guarantees are there that he comes back? First of all, if he does not come back, his family loses everything and that includes property that his brother and sister own in Florida. That’s number one. Number two, where is he going to hide? He is an international movie star. He can’t hide anywhere. Mexico has an extradition treaty with the US. He would also face additional charges including bail jumping,” said Reisenstein.
As for the accusations against Lyle, “We are going to fight the charges and we are going to prevail,” Reisenstein adds.
“I saw the video. I am 100 percent sure that he did.”
The judge set another hearing for next Wednesday when she could announce if Lyle will be able to return to Mexico.