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Orlando Criminal Lawyer > Media > Not Guilty Army Veteran Murder Verdict

Ocala, FL Man Acquitted Because of Flawed Investigation

This past December, Stevin Roopnarine, a man charged with murdering a U.S. war veteran, was acquitted due to errors on the part of the prosecution.

The Evidence in Stevin Roopnarine’s Case

Here are the facts of the case:

  • A full video confession was submitted as evidence, in which the accused demonstrated how he shot the victim in the back of the head and made the statement, “I shot the nigger in the back of the head 3 or 4 times”;
  • The victim’s wallet, driver’s license, and other items were found at the defendants home;
  • The defendant’s clothes, also found in the defendant’s home, had the victim’s blood all over them
  • A used condom wrapper taken from the victim’s pockets with his blood on it was found, and the condom was proven to be used by both defendants after the shooting;
    The murder weapon with the victim’s blood on it was found at the defendant’s home; and
  • The co-defendant turned State’s evidence and was willing to testify against Mr. Roopnarine.

Despite every sign pointing towards a guilty verdict, Mr. Roopnarine was found not guilty after less than three hours of deliberation. From facing life without the possibility of parole to walking away free, Stevin Roopnarine is just one of many of the prosecution’s “sure cases” that ended up being a loss.

Mr. Roopnarine’s Defense

Stevin Roopnarine faced life without the possibility of parole, but thanks to key mistakes made by the prosecution, he was able to spend the holidays at home with his family, and now has a second chance at life.

Jose Baez, Roopnarine’s aggressive criminal defense lawyer, pointed out two fatal flaws in the State’s investigation that ultimately led to Roopnarine’s acquittal:

  1. Contaminated Evidence: Baez pointed out that, in testimony given by one sheriff’s official during the trial, the individual used the same gloves to show the jury and audience several different items. In doing so, they may have contaminated the evidence. Baez accused the deputies of being guilty of “testalying,” where the physical evidence presented in court did not match the statements made by his client.
  2. Manipulated confession: Mr. Baez was able to demonstrate to the jury that despite the fact that the defendant gave a full confession, that there was a reasonable doubt that it may have been manipulated. He also pointed out how the confession did not match key pieces of evidence.

Stevin Roopnarine’s case is a prime example of how a careless and hurried investigation by the prosecution can ultimately lead to the acquittal of the defendant.

While we cannot guarantee you the same results, Jose Baez deeply understands the intricacies of the law and can use them in your favor when defending you against the criminal charges brought against you.

When deciding whom to hire to defend you in a criminal case, it is important to take a look at a lawyer’s success in the courtroom. Jose Baez – founder and key criminal defense lawyer at The Baez Law Firm – has achieved profound success in the courtroom. To work with a passionate lawyer who will pull out all the stops to defend you, call 800-588-BAEZ to schedule a free consultation now.


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