The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly. This information; however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon for statistical or legal purposes.
HERNANDEZ-ALBERTO, Pedro (W/M)
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County Case # 99-117
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Daniel Perry
Attorney, Trial: Pro Se, Daniel Hernandez & Charles Traina – APD & Court-Appointed
Attorney, Direct Appeal: John Fisher – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Mark Gruber – CCRC-M
Date of Offense: 01/03/99
Date of Sentence: 05/28/02
Circumstances of Offense:
Pedro Hernandez-Alberto and Maria Gonzalez were married and had one child together. Maria Gonzalez had an adult son, Salvatore Gonzalez, an adult daughter, Isela Gonzalez, and a minor 11-year-old daughter, Donna Berezovsky, from other relationships. Maria’s children lived with her and Hernandez-Alberto during their marriage. Maria owned and operated a family business called the Apollo Beach Family Restaurant.
On the morning of 01/03/99, Hernandez-Alberto and Maria continued an ongoing argument about ownership of the home and restaurant. Hernandez-Alberto insisted that his name be placed on the title to the home and restaurant, which Maria owned before their marriage. Maria left the home to go to work at the restaurant. After Maria’s departure, Hernandez-Alberto confronted Donna in the family room. When she refused to pick up a toy, he struck her on the head, knocking her to the floor. As she lay face down on the floor, he removed a gun from his fanny pack and shot her in the back, killing her.
After shooting Donna, Hernandez-Alberto drove to the restaurant where Maria and Isela were working. He confronted Isela in the kitchen and shot her three times – once in the lower back, once in the upper back, and once in the neck.
After shooting Isela, Hernandez-Alberto fled toward Mexico, but was arrested in Brookshire, Texas. He was interviewed by the Brookshire police chief and confessed to shooting and killing both Donna and Isela.
During trial, the competency of Hernandez-Alberto was in question. At a competency hearing on 05/18/99, the trial court found him incompetent to proceed. At three subsequent competency hearings, however, held on 11/09/99, 08/20/01, and 11/19/01, the trial court found him competent to proceed.
On 07/21/09, a competency evaluation hearing was ordered.
01/13/99 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Donna Berezovsky)
Count II: First-Degree Murder (Isela Gonzalez)
08/24/01 Jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts of the indictment
11/29/01 Jury recommended death by a vote of 10-2
05/28/02 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Donna Berezovsky) – Death
Count II: First-Degree Murder (Isela Gonzalez) – Death
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
889 So.2d 721
07/23/02 Appeal filed
09/23/04 FSC affirmed convictions and sentences
12/10/04 Rehearing denied
12/30/04 Mandate issued
Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion
03/10/06 Motion filed
03/16/06 Motion amended
03/18/09 Motion amended
11/02/10 Motion dismissed with prejudice
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal
12/29/10 Appeal filed
On 07/23/02, Hernandez-Alberto filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing the following trial court errors: finding of competence to proceed; allowing pro se representation; denying a motion for continuance; denying a motion for a PET scan; finding evidence of premeditation; proportionality of the death penalty in this case; and unconstitutionality of Florida’s death penalty statute. On 09/23/04, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences.
On 03/10/06, Hernandez-Alberto filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court and amended the motion on 03/16/06. The motion was amended again on 03/18/09. On 12/29/10, the motion was dismissed with prejudice by the Circuit Court.
DATE DAYS VIOLATION LOCATION
07/23/03 26 REF. SUB. ABUSE TEST FLORIDA STATE PRISON
08/18/04 12 REF. SUB. ABUSE TEST FLORIDA STATE PRISON
03/04/05 0 DISOBEYING ORDER UNION C.I.
05/04/06 40 REF. SUB. ABUSE TEST UNION C.I.
Report Date: 12/16/04 JFL
Updated: 01/19/11 CAR