Jeremy Macauley is scheduled to be sentenced for the double murder of Tavernier couple Tara Rosado and Carlos Ortiz the week before Christmas.
Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia is set to hand down the sentence on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at the Plantation Key courthouse at 1:30 p.m. He faces life in state prison for the Oct. 15, 2015, shooting deaths of Rosado, 26, and Ortiz, 30.
A 12-person jury found him guilty of murder and armed robbery last month. They took less than two hours of deliberation before coming back with the verdict.
Macauley killed the couple because Ortiz was trying to extort money from him over a large drug-dealing operation both men were involved in, prosecutors said. Rosado was gunned down simply for witnessing her boyfriend’s murder. They were killed in her bedroom at her house on Cuba Road in Tavernier.
Prosecutors say the cocaine Macauley was dealing — anywhere from 12 to 15 kilos — was found offshore of Islamorada the summer before the murders while he was working as a mate on the charter fishing boat, the Sea Horse. He brought it to shore and sold it with the help of several friends, including Ortiz.
His boss, Richard Rodriguez, who Ortiz also tried to extort through text messages, repeatedly denied to police and this newspaper that he had any knowledge drugs were brought back to shore aboard his vessel.
Cell phone records show Ortiz began frantically sending Macauley text messages the day before the murders demanding money and a larger portion of the cocaine to sell. If not, he said he was going to tell the police about the drugs.
The last communication between the two men, according to cell phone records shown in court, was a text from Macauley saying he’d come to the Cuba Road house with the money. That was around 10 p.m. Police say Ortiz and Rosado were killed around 10:30 p.m.
Macauley’s partner, Adrian Demblans, 35, drove him to and away from the crime scene. He pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of a capital felony last spring and agreed to cooperate with the state against Macauley. Demblans, now serving 10 years in prison, testified against Macauley in open court during the November trial.
David Goodhue: 305-440-3204