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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
LopezEduardo 094666CCRC-SCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
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The Commission on Capital Cases updates this informationregularly. This information, however, is subject to change and may not reflectthe latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon forstatistical or legal purposes.


LOPEZ, Eduardo (W/M)

DC# 094666

DOB: 10/13/1946


Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County Case# 83-11553

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable D. Bruce Levy

Attorneys, Trial: William Castro & Gisele M. Pollack – Private  

Attorney, Trial (Resentencing): Keith Haymes – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Michael B. Chavies – Private

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Marian Perez-Garcia – CCRC-S



Date of Offense: 01/29/83

Date of Sentence: 02/13/84

Date of Resentence: 02/13/86



Circumstances of the Offense:


Maria Perez-Vega, a surviving victim, worked as a tour guidefor clients that were wealthy individuals mainly from Latin countries. One ofher clients was the wife of Rafael Paz, an alleged marijuana dealer. Perez-Vegahad little contact with Paz.  On two previous occasions, Paz’s wife had askedPerez-Vega to pick up her “husband’s money.”


On 01/02/83, Paz showed up at Perez-Vega’s home with RaulGomez and an unidentified woman. Paz asked Perez-Vega if she would do him afavor. He stated that he was returning to South America and did not want toleave his package, which contained over $50,000, at the airport or the hotel.Paz asked Perez-Vega if she would keep the package for him and she reluctantlyagreed. Paz then counted the money and walked unattended throughout the housechecking doors and windows. Finally, Paz watched Perez-Vega place the money ina closet in one of the bedrooms on an upper shelf behind some unused blankets.He then asked her to exchange some money for him at a bank. He instructed herto go to the airport currency exchange. She left and took her daughter. WhenPerez-Vega returned home, the house had been ransacked, and a window in thenorthwest bedroom was open. The money was missing.


Paz returned to the house after a short time, and Perez-Vegatold him what happened. She suggested that they call the police, but Pazrefused and kept stating that he was ruined. Paz left the house and returnedwith Gomez. Paz asked Perez-Vega to tell Gomez what happened. Gomez did notappear to believe Perez-Vega. Paz told Perez-Vega that if anyone called from South America that she was to tell them what happened to the money. At 6:00 a.m. the next morning, Perez-Vega received a call from Paz, who was in South America. Anothermale was on the phone, and Paz asked Perez-Vega to explain what happened to themoney. She again recounted the story, but this time Paz accused her or herdaughter of taking the money.


On the evening of 01/28/83, Perez-Vega’s two teenagedaughters were at a disco, and Perez-Vega was home watching television with her8-year-old son, Reimar. They had both fallen asleep in her bedroom watching TV.Perez-Vega woke up when she heard the sound of intruders, and then the overheadlight was switched on. Perez-Vega saw three figures enter the room, but shecould only identify the one closest to her, which was Eduardo Lopez. Perez-Vegascreamed and Lopez placed his hand over her mouth and told her to “be quiet.”When Perez-Vega would not be quiet, Lopez put his hand over her nose and mouth;she bit his hand. She then asked, “What do you want?” but none of the intrudersresponded. Lopez then placed a small caliber pistol to Perez-Vega’s temple. Oneof the other intruders said “shoot her, kill her.” Lopez then shot Perez-Vega.The bullet shattered her cheekbone only causing superficial damage. After beingshot, Perez-Vega remained conscious and saw her son get on his knees and pleadwith Lopez, “Please don’t hurt my mommy. Damn you, leave my mommy alone.”Perez-Vega then heard one of the other intruders state “kill him, kill thekid.” Perez-Vega then heard a muffled sound.


The three intruders left the house and Perez-Vegaimmediately called the police. Reimar was pronounced brain dead upon hisarrival to the hospital. The medical examiner stated that Reimar’s injuries wereconsistent with being held and then shot in the back of the neck at very closerange. The police found each room in the house ransacked as if the whole househad been completely searched. The northeast bedroom window was open and a paneof the glass was cracked. Lopez was suspected as being the shooter, and wasidentified by Perez-Vega. Lopez was arrested and gave a statement, which hedeclared he had shot the boy but it was not intentional. According to Lopez, heentered the house alone and did not expect to find anyone and the child wasshot during a struggle between himself and Perez-Vega.


Lopez stated that he was in the house searching for the$52,000 that Perez-Vega stole from Rafael Paz. Lopez asserted that he learnedthis information from Francisco Felipe.  Felipe supposedly owed Lopez $25,000and Felipe was resisting paying. Lopez stated that he knew where he could getthe money; Lopez and Felipe were to burglarize Perez-Vega’s home and steal themoney, which would be split between the two. The fingerprints found at theentry of Perez-Vega’s home were positively identified as Lopez’s.



Additional Information:


Margarita Cantin Garcia and Francisco Felipe were alsosuspected to have been involved in the murder, attempted murder and armedburglary.  After Lopez signed a plea agreement stating that he would testifyagainst them, the two were arrested and indicted on the three charges mentionedabove. On 05/03/85, Lopez stated under oath that he would not testify againstMargarita Cantin Garcia although he admitted her participation in the event.Due to Lopez’s refusal to comply with the conditions of his plea agreement, theState was forced to nolle prosse the cases against Garcia and Felipe.


Lopez died of natural causes on 3/26/04.



Trial Summary:


06/10/84          Indicted as follows:

                                    Count I:            First-DegreeMurder

                                    Count II:           AttemptedFirst-Degree Murder

                                    Count III:         Burglaryof a Dwelling

06/13/84          Defendant entered a plea agreement statingthat he would plea guilty to all

charges in exchange for his testimonyagainst the other individuals involved in the offense

06/13/84          Judgment and sentence. In accordance to the plea agreement, thedefendant was sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:            First-DegreeMurder – Life

                                    Count II:           AttemptedFirst-Degree Murder – Life

                                    Count III:         Burglaryof a Dwelling – Life

                        The sentences of life were to runconcurrent with a mandatory minimum

of 25 yearswithout parole and a concurrent 3 years mandatory minimum

sentence onCounts II and III

05/14/85          Motion filed by the State to enforce the plea agreement due to the factthat the defendant refused to testify against his accomplices.

06/20/85          Motionto Withdrawal as Attorney of Record filed by Defense Attorney Keith Haymes

07/19/85          The State of Florida’s Memorandum of Lawon the Facial Validity of the

Previously – Entered PleaBargained Guilty Plea and Enforcement of the Plea Agreement

07/22/85          Defendant’sMotion to Set Aside Plea Agreement and Memorandum of Law in Support thereof inResponse to the State’s Motion to Enforce Plea


08/02/95          Order vacating sentence signed by D. BruceLevy

12/02/85          Defendant entered a written Waiver ofAdvisory Jury Sentence

02/13/86          Defendant was resentenced by D. Bruce Levyas follows:

                                    Count I:     First-DegreeMurder – Death

Count II:     Attempted First-Degree Murder – Lifeimprisonment with a mandatory minimum of three years incarceration without thepossibility of parole consecutive to Count I

Count III:   Burglary with an Assault – Lifeimprisonment with a mandatory minimum of three years without the possibility ofparole to run consecutive to Counts I and II


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 68,494

536 So. 2d 226


03/24/86          Appeal filed

12/22/88          FSC affirmed convictions and sentence

01/26/89          Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 75,847

634 So. 2d 1054


04/16/90          Petition filed

09/02/93          FSC denied the petition

12/09/93          FSC issued an amended opinion

04/20/94          Rehearing denied and mandate issued


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 83-11553


08/28/90          Motion filed

05/21/91          Motion denied


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 78,228

634 So. 2d 10.54


07/08/91          Appeal filed

09/02/93          FSCaffirmed the trial’s court denial 3.850 but remanded to the trial court toinspect in camera those portions of its records that the State’s attorney’soffice sealed to determine if they are exempt from disclosure.

12/09/93          FSC issued an amended opinion

04/20/94          Rehearing denied and mandate issued


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion (On Remand from FSC)

CC# 83-11553


01/19/95          The trial court held an in-camera inspection and determined thatportions of the sealed records should be disclosed and other portions shouldremain





Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 85,228

696 So. 2d 725


04/17/95          Appeal filed

05/15/97          FSC affirmed trial court’s decision

07/09/97          Rehearing denied

08/08/97          Mandate issued


United States District Court, Southern District – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

USDC# 97-1189-CIV-Ungaro


04/23/97          Petition filed

10/15/98          Administrative order issued closing thecase

05/17/00          The case was reopened

09/13/01          Petition was denied


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 98-6065

525 U.S. 1116


09/16/98          Petition filed

01/19/99          Petition denied


United States Court of Appeals – HabeasAppeal

USCA# 01-16964


12/06/01          Appeal filed

05/25/04          Appeal dismissed





03/29/90          Death Warrant signed by Governor BobMartinez

04/26/90          Florida State Supreme Court granted afour-month stay of execution

09/17/93          Florida State Supreme Court granted a stayof execution




06/28/89          Clemency hearing held (denied)



Factors Contributing to the Delay inExecution of Sentence:


It took three years for the Florida Supreme Court to decide Lopez’sDirect Appeal.  It also took approximately four years for the Florida SupremeCourt to render a decision for the petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and the first3.850 Appeal.



Case Information:


The direct appeal was filed on 03/24/86 to the FloridaSupreme Court. The main issues that were raised on the direct appeal weresurrounding Lopez’s plea agreement. Lopez stated that the trial court erred inrefusing to allow him to withdrawal the plea agreement and to proceed to trialon all issues and by setting aside the plea agreement because it was not freelyand voluntarily made. The Court affirmed the trial court’s opinions that Lopezentered the plea agreement, agreed to testify against his accomplices andagreed to the alteration of the sentence if he failed to testify freely,voluntarily, and intelligently. The Court also affirmed the death sentence on12/22/88. A mandate was issued on 01/26/89. A clemency hearing was held on 06/28/89and clemency was not granted.


On 03/29/90, Governor Martinez signed a death warrant forLopez. On 04/16/90 Lopez filed a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to theFlorida Supreme Court and asked for a stay of execution. A four-month stay wasgranted by the Court on 04/26/90. Lopez then filed a 3.850 Motion on 8/28/90with the Circuit Court. On 05/21/91, the Circuit Court denied the 3.850 Motionwithout an evidentiary hearing and, subsequently, an appeal of the trialcourt’s decision was filed to the Florida Supreme Court on 07/08/91. In October1992, Lopez filed a supplement to the original habeas petition that raisedadditional issues.


On 12/09/93, the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinionregarding both the Habeas petition and the 3.850 Appeal. The Court ruled that theissues raised in the 3.850 Motion were procedurally barred; therefore, therewas no need for an evidentiary hearing. The main issue that was raised in theappeal was the issue that Lopez was improperly denied access to public records,specifically, the records of the polygraph examiner, the doctor that hypnotizedPerez-Vega, and the state attorney’s files. The State Attorney’s office hadpreviously turned over its files, except those portions that were consideredwork product or sealed. In the 12/09/93 opinion, the Florida Supreme Court directedthe state attorney’s office to allow the trial court to perform an in-camerainspection of the portions of the records that were previously considered workproduct or sealed. If any of the documents were to be disclosed after thisprocess, Lopez had 30 days from the access date to amend his 3.850 Motion. Inregard to all other issues, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’sdenial of the 3.850. All of the issues that were raised in the Habeas wereeither procedurally barred, improperly raised, or had no merit; therefore, the Courtdenied the petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. On 12/09/93, the Court issued arevised opinion and, on 04/20/94, the rehearing was denied and the mandate wasissued.


On 01/19/95, the Circuit Court held a hearing concerning thepublics records and stated that it would determine whether the withhelddocuments were exempt from disclosure, in addition to determining whether thewithheld documents contained any Brady materials. After examining the materials,the Circuit Court discerned that a few items should be disclosed and statedthat Lopez had 30 days to file any new claims based on the disclosure. 20 daysafter the disclosure, Lopez filed a notice of appeal to the Florida SupremeCourt. On 05/15/97, the Court affirmed the trial court’s decision. Therehearing was denied 07/09/97 and the mandate was issued on 08/08/97.


Lopez filed a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to theUnited States District Court, Southern District, on 04/23/97. On 10/15/98, an administrative order was issued closing the case. Prior to this order Lopezhad filed a petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.The petition was denied on 01/19/99. The petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus wasreopened in the United States District Court, Southern District, on 05/17/00and denied on 09/13/01.


Lopez filed a Habeas appeal to the United States Court ofAppeals on 12/06/01.  Lopez died of natural causes on 03/26/04, which led tothe dismissal of the Habeas appeal on 05/25/04.


Lopez died of natural causes on 3/26/04.



Institutional Adjustment:


  DATE     DAYS           VIOLATION                          LOCATION      

  --------       ----        ----------------------------              -------------------

09/23/86        0         POSS OF CONTRABAND       FLORIDA STATE PRISON

07/15/93        0         POSS OF CONTRABAND       UNION C.I.        

09/12/94        0        DISOBEYING ORDER             UNIONC. I.        

08/14/97        0        DISOBEYING ORDER             UNIONC. I.        



Report Date:     10/31/01          NMP

Approved:        11/08/01          WS

Updated:          04/15/05          NRC