Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Carmel on the Case: Risky Romance Follow-Up
And now a follow-up to a 7 News Investigation. A North Miami Beach detective has been accused of having an affair with the wife of a murder suspect. And now, he's in trouble again. Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the Case.
WSVN -- Ed Hill of the North Miami Beach Police Department has been the target of two internal affairs investigations. Both concluded with the finding of conduct unbecoming. Yet, he's still a detective.
Chief Ralph Hernandez, North Miami Beach Police Department: "He received the proper discipline at the time. I feel strongly about that."
As 7 News first revealed in July of 2008, Detective Hill arrested this man, David Superville, on a murder charge. After the arrest, Hill had an affair and started a business with Superville's wife.
Andrew Rier, Superville's Attorney: "I think it's outrageous that my client is being charged with first degree murder in a case where this man is the lead detective."
After our first report, North Miami Beach PD told us, Hill would be suspended without pay for 120 hours and...
Carmel Cafiero: "When he returns to work, he'll do desk duty until his upcoming retirement. An unfortunate way to end a career."
But Hill did not retire. And the North Miami Beach police chief says, there is nothing the department can do about it.
Chief Ralph Hernandez: "And he had, at the time, informed me that he was planning to retire. I can't predict the future. He changed his mind. If he would have made a comment or, at the time, he would have stated he was not going to retire, would I have given him something else? There's always that probability."
Hill went back on the job and within a year was back in trouble. And again, the same woman was involved. Hill showed up at a murder scene outside of the city after the woman sent him a text that her landlord had been murdered.
Chief Ralph Hernandez: "He was disciplined. He was transferred out of the detective bureau back to the road patrol, and he was give a letter of reprimand."
But once again, Hill landed on his feet. Because the department was two weeks late in taking action against him, the demotion was reversed on a technicality.
Chief Ralph Hernandez: "I don't want to violate the law. I had to rescind that, and he came back to the detective bureau."
Watching all this: Andrew Rier, David Superville's attorney.
Andrew Rier: "I think a lot of North Miami Beach Police officers that don't sleep with the wives of the people they arrest are probably ashamed and embarrassed."
The murder case involves the execution-style slaying of 38-year-old James Duarte, who was gunned down in his car in 2001. The main suspects left the country. David Superville was charged, because prosecutors believe he knew the hit was going to happen. He denies it.
Andrew Rier: "So nothing's changed, and David Superville is still charged with murder. You tell me where the justice is there."
Carmel Cafiero: "Detective Hill turned down our request for an interview, based on the fact, the Superville case is still pending. It is expected that his risky romance will be a major issue when the case goes to trial in October."
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