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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
CaraballoVictor 12924911th Circuit PDCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
7/20/2007FSC07-1375Direct Appeal
9/2/2009FSC07-1375Oral Arguments held
6/24/2010FSC07-1375Conviction affirmed, sentence reversed and remanded for new penalty phase
7/16/2010FSC07-1375Mandate issued

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
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The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly.  This information; however, is subject to changeand may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not berelied upon for statistical or legal purposes. 



DC# 129249

DOB: 10/07/67


Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County Case # 02-12509

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable William Thomas

Attorney, Trial: Gary I Rosenberg – Court Appointed

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Andrew Stanton – Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: TBA


Date of Offense: 04/27/02

Date of Sentence: 06/07/07


Circumstances of Offense:


Victor Caraballo was convicted offirst-degree murder, kidnapping, robbery, and sexual battery of Ana Maria Angelon 06/07/07. Caraballo was also convicted of theattempted first-degree murder, robbery, and kidnapping of Nelson Portobanco.


On April 27, 2002, Angel and her boyfriend Portobanco, both high school students, went on a dinnerdate. After dinner, the two went for a walk on Miami Beach that lasted about 30minutes. Around 12:30 a.m. on April 28, they decided to leave the beach and gohome. As Angel and Portobanco walked to their car,they were stopped at gunpoint and forced into the rear cab of a white FordF-150 pickup truck. Victor Caraballo, Joel Lebron, Hector Caraballo, CesarMena, and Jesus Torres Roman were inside the truck. The group had traveled fromOrlando to Miami Beach on the evening of April 27 in the rented truck. Mena wasthe driver and Caraballo was the front-seatpassenger. Hector Caraballo, Lebron,and Roman sat in the rear cab of the truck with Angel and Portobanco.While in the truck, Angel and Portobanco were robbedof their belongings, which included Angel‘s purse, cell phone, Florida identificationcard, automatic teller machine (ATM) card, various items of jewelry, and Portobanco‘s wallet and cell phone. After forcing Angel toreveal her personal identification number (PIN), the robbers used her ATM cardto withdraw money from an ATM and to purchase gasoline.


Thereafter, the truck entered Interstate 95 and proceeded ina northerly direction with Angel and Portobancotrapped in the rear cab. At one point, Portobanco wastold to kiss Angel and then to touch her in an intimate manner. When Portobanco refused, he was pushed onto the floorboard.Angel was then brutally gang-raped by the other three occupants of the rearcab. Thereafter, Caraballo exclaimed that it was histurn, climbed into the back seat, and sexually battered Angel. After the sexualattacks ended, the truck continued traveling north and then stopped alongsidethe interstate. Portobanco was forced out of thetruck and down an embankment. There, he was repeatedly stabbed and left fordead. One of Portobanco‘s multiple stab wounds waslocated extremely close to an artery.


The truck continued to travel north on the interstate forseveral more miles with Angel still trapped inside. When the truck stoppedagain, Angel was forced out of the truck and taken to a retaining wall alongsidethe interstate. There, Angel was forced to her knees and was shot once in theback of her head killing her instantly. After brutally stabbing Portobanco and fatally shooting Angel, the group of fiveheaded back home to Orlando during the early morning hours of April 28. Therental truck was returned to the rental agency in Orlando that same day.


Portobanco, who did not succumb tohis injuries, made his way to the side of the road and summoned help. There, apasserby stopped and emergency personnel were called. Portobancowas taken to a Miami hospital where he talked with law enforcement officerswhile being treated. Portobanco told the officersabout the kidnapping and explained that when he last saw Angel, she was alive.After law enforcement officers obtained the numbers for both Angel‘s and Portobanco‘s cell phones, a call was traced from one of thephones to a residential telephone number at the Hawthorne Village Apartments inOrlando. The phone number was linked to Hector Caraballo.


During the morning of April 28, local and statewide lawenforcement officers set up a staging area in south Orange County in thevicinity of the Hawthorne Village Apartments. Although the officers did notlocate Hector Caraballo, the Hawthorne Village staffinformed them that a person named Victor Caraballowas recently a tenant in the complex. Apartment staff told law enforcement thatCaraballo had been evicted and that his apartmentshould be vacant. Law enforcement officers went to the apartment formerlyrented by Caraballo and knocked on the door.Hawthorne Village staff, who accompanied the officers to the apartment,discovered that someone placed a new noncompliant lock on the apartment door.Despite multiple attempts to get the attention of anyone who might be inside,no one came to the door. Thereafter, with the consent of Hawthorne Villagestaff, law enforcement officers kicked in the door and entered the apartment.Once inside the apartment, they discovered that the door had been barricadedwith a piece of wood and a hydraulic jack, and they discovered someone whoidentified himself as Victor Caraballo.


Caraballo, whose primary languageis Spanish, was advised in Spanish of his Mirandarights. After indicating that he understood his rights, he signed a waiver formprinted in Spanish. Caraballo acknowledged that heand four others (Hector Caraballo, Mena, Lebron, and Roman) traveled to Miami Beach the eveningbefore and robbed a young couple. Caraballo statedthat Portobanco was beaten and left at some pointduring the trip back to Orlando, but he claimed that Angel traveled back toOrlando with the group and that she begged to be let go throughout the trip. Caraballo admitted to having some of the items belonging toAngel and Portobanco. He showed FDLE Agent FranciscoHidalgo where various items were located in the apartment, including Portobanco‘s wallet and Angel‘s purse, cell phone, and ATMcard. In an abundance of caution, Hidalgo also obtained consent from Caraballo to search the apartment and seize the items. Thatevening, Caraballo was taken to the Orlando FDLEoffice where he made another statement. Several months after the murder, Caraballo wrote a letter that contained a voluntaryconfession and sent it to the State Attorney‘s Office.


Codefendant Information:


Codefendant Mena was convicted of six of the seven counts andsentenced to life in prison.


Codefendant Roman was convicted of all seven counts and sentencedto life in prison. Roman was under the age of eighteen at the time of themurder.


Codefendants Lebron and Hector Caraballo are still awaiting trial.


Trial Summary:


05/08/02         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:         First-Degree Murder(Attempted)

                                   Count III:        Kidnapping

                                   Count IV:        Kidnapping

                                   Count V:         Robbery

                                   Count VI:        Robbery

                                   Count VII:      Sexual Battery

04/13/07         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

06/07/07         Jury recommended death by a vote of 9-3

06/07/07         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:         First-Degree Murder(Attempted) – Life

                                   Count III:        Kidnapping – Life

                                   Count IV:        Kidnapping – Life

                                   Count V:         Robbery – 30 years

                                   Count VI:        Robbery – 30 years

                                   Count VII:      Sexual Battery – Life


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 07-1375


07/20/07         Appeal filed

06/24/10         FSC affirmed the convictions but reversed the death sentence, remanded to theCC for a new penalty phase


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


It took almost five years for Caraballo’scase to go to trial. 


Caraballo’s direct appeal waspending for almost three years in the Florida Supreme Court as several motionsto extend time were granted.


Case Information:


On 07/20/07, Caraballo filed aDirect Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. On direct appeal, Caraballo raised nine issues: (1) whether the entry intothe apartment where Caraballo was found violated hisFourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, rendering the fruits of the entry,search, and seizure inadmissible; (2) whether the interrogation of Caraballo violated his Mirandarights; (3) whether certain prosecutorial comments were improper; (4) whetherthe State’s victim-impact testimony deprived Caraballoof due process; (5) whether the trial court erred in permitting penalty phasetestimony from an expert appointed to evaluate Caraballo’scompetence to proceed; (6) whether Florida law prevented Caraballofrom establishing mental retardation; (7) whether Caraballo’sdeath sentence violates Ring v. Arizona,536 U.S. 584 (2002); (8) whether the cumulative effect of errors committed attrial deprived Caraballo of a fair trial; and (9)whether Caraballo’s death sentence is proportional.On 06/24/10, the FSC affirmed Caraballo’s convictionsand affirmed Caraballo’s sentences for the attemptedmurder, kidnapping, robbery, and sexual battery. The FSC, however, vacated Caraballo’s sentence of death for the murder of Angel andremanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings regarding claim (5)of the direct appeal.




Report Date:  06/25/10          KKR

Approved:      00/00/00          Initials

Updated:         12/06/10         JJK