Macauley murder trial set for November

The murder trial for a Key Largo man accused of shooting dead a Tavernier couple in 2015 in order to silence an extortion attempt over a large drug deal is scheduled to begin Nov. 6.

Jury selection for the Jeremy Macauley trial is set for Oct. 31, said Monroe County State Attorney Dennis Ward, whose office is not prosecuting the case because of a conflict of interest related to when Ward was in private practice. Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office prosecutors are handling the case.

Macauley, 34, is charged with killing Tara Rosado, 26, and Carlos Ortiz, 30, in October 2015 inside the couple’s Cuba Road house near Harry Harris Park. The motive, prosecutors say, was to quiet Ortiz, who was demanding money or else he was going to the police to tell them about Macauley dealing a large haul of cocaine — around 15 kilograms — cops say Macauley found offshore while working his day job as a charter fishing boat mate.

Rosado was likely killed simply because she was there, detectives say. Her three children were at home that night, and were discovered unharmed in the front yard by a neighbor around 2 p.m. the next day.

Macauley was driven to and from the crime scene by Adrian Demblans, 35. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to accessory after the fact of the murder and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison. The agreement Demblans made with prosecutors requires him to cooperate with their case against Macauley, including testifying against him in open court. He faced 30 years if he fought his charge in trial.

This is one of the most significant cases tried in recent years in the Keys, where crime is by no means uncommon, but homicide, let alone double murder, is. Prosecutors have subpoenaed more than 40 witnesses.

David Goodhue: 305-440-3204