The murder trial for Jeremy Macauley, charged with the killings of a Tavernier couple in 2015 over a cocaine extortion attempt, is scheduled for May 15, but his attorney says the recent change in plea by his reported partner in crime places that date in doubt.
“I don’t know how viable that is, now that they’ve made a deal with the devil,” Macauley’s lawyer, Ed O’Donnell, Sr., said Wednesday.
O’Donnell was referring to Adrian Demblans, 35, who changed his not-guilty plea to guilty Monday on an count of being an accessory after the fact in a murder.
Demblans was sentenced to 10 years in state prison by Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia. (see related story). If Demblans was convicted in a jury trial, he risked going to prison for 30 years.
Garcia made clear, and Demblans agreed, that the plea agreement hinges on him cooperating with the prosecution’s case against Macauley, including testifying against Macauley in open court.
Prosecutors say Demblans drove a Toyota RAV4 borrowed from a friend, and took Macauley to and from the Cuba Road house where Tara Rosado, 26, and Carlos Ortiz, 30, were found shot to death on Oct. 16, 2015.
According to investigators and prosecutors, Macauley went to the house to kill Ortiz because Ortiz sent several text messages the day before. The messages, based on a financial dispute over a business, reportedly threatened to tell police about Macauley’s cocaine dealing. The drugs reportedly were found offshore of Islamorada by Macauley while he worked as a mate on a charter-fishing boat the summer before the murders.
O’Donnell contends security camera footage that prosecutors say shows Macauley get out and in the car at the Cuba Road house is too grainy to tell who is in the images.
The defense attorney also disputes prosecution claims that the footage shows Demblans get out of the car before it pulls away to get rid of tire tracks in the pea rock of Ortiz’s driveway. “He’s not scuffing up tire marks,” O’Donnell said. “It’s not even his car.”
O’Donnell said he wants to take Demblans’ deposition before proceeding to trial. There is no deposition currently scheduled.
“There is a May 15 date,” O’Donnell said. “But I would anticipate there may be a problem with that.”