Man guilty of rape, murder to be sentenced
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A man found guilty of raping and murdering a South Florida teenager more than a decade ago is scheduled to be sentenced.
"A majority of the jury by a vote of 9-3, advise and recommend to the court that it impose the death penalty upon Joel Lebron," said Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge William Thomas.
Joel Lebron is expected to appear in court Thursday morning, where he will learn whether he is receiving life in prison or lethal injection, as recommended by the jury.
This is a long-awaited day for the family of Ana Maria Angel. "I'm more relaxed now, I'm grateful that in this country justice can be served," said Margarita Osario, the victim's mother.
Lebron has been convicted of murder, rape, kidnapping and attempted murder in a brutal crime that rocked South Florida.
On prom night back in 2002, 18-year-old Angel and her boyfriend Nelson Portoblanco had just finished a walk on South Beach.
Lebron, the ringleader in a group of four other men, kidnapped the couple at gunpoint, stabbed Portoblanco more than 10 times and participated in the gang rape Angel.
Portoblanco testified in court six years ago against Victor Caraballo. "She asked him to stop, to please stop," he said.
Investigators said the attackers left Portoblanco for dead on the side of Interstate 95 in Broward County and shot Angel in the head in West Palm Beach, killing her instantly.
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