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Orlando Criminal Lawyer

Jose Baez Secures Release of Guatemalan Teen Falsely Accused and Arrested for the Natural Case Death of Police Officer

St. Augustine, Fla. — Nationally renowned criminal defense attorney Jose Baez has come to an agreement with Assistant State Attorney Mark Johnson for the release of Guatemalan teen, Virgilio Aguilar Mendez (a/k/a Vergilio Aguilar Mendez), who has been falsely accused and arrested for the tragic death of Sgt. Kunovich due to natural causes.

On May 19, 2023, Sgt. Kunovich stopped Virgilio, a 5-foot, 105-pound 18 year-old, without legal cause and simply because the teen looked “suspicious.” Virgilio does not speak English, and his primary language is Mam, a Mayan dialect spoken by half a million of people in Guatemala. Because Virgilio did not understand the officer’s orders, he was tazed and physically abused law enforcement for over 8 minutes. Because law enforcement restrained Virgilio without reasonable suspicion, his detention was unlawful and in violation of his constitutional rights.

Today, Assistant State Attorney Mark Johnson has agreed to drop all charges against Virgilio. The Baez Law firm expresses our gratitude for the legal efforts of Assistant Public Defenders Rosemarie Peoples and Steve Gurney, and Phillip Arroyo of the Arroyo Law Firm. Most importantly, we express our gratitude to the Guatemalan-Maya Center, the Mayan League, and all who have supported Virgilio in his search for justice.

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