Judge Declares Mistrial in Dennis Escobar Trial

Dennis Escobar, 52, was charged with first-degree murder in the March 31, 1988 killing of Officer Victor Estefan during a traffic stop in Little Havana.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Miami-Dade Corrections
    Dennis Escobar

    A judge has declared a mistrial on Tuesday in the weeks-long trial of Dennis Escobar, who was accused of murdering a Miami Police officer almost 25 years ago

    Dennis Escobar, 52, was charged with first-degree murder in the March 31, 1988 killing of Officer Victor Estefan during a traffic stop in Little Havana.

    Prosecutors say Escobar confessed to fatally shooting Estefan before dumping a revolver in a canal and fleeing to California with his brother, Douglas Escobar.

    The brothers were later arrested in California after a shootout with the California Highway Patrol. They were convicted and are serving life sentences in that shooting.

    The pair were also convicted in Estefan's murder in 1991 but the convictions were later overturned by the Florida Supreme Court.

    Dennis Escobar's defense attorney claimed his client's confession was tainted by the conduct of the case's lead investigator, according to the Miami Herald.

    Defense attorney Phil Reizenstein claimed Miami Detective Jorge Morin lied under oath about how he obtained the confession and ignored Escobar's wish to remain silent, the Herald reported.

    Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said that her office intends to retry the case.

    "For a quarter of a century we have labored to hold responsible the individuals we believe caused the death of Miami Police Officer Victor Estefan. Officer Estefan died a hero protecting our community," Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to Officer Estefan’s widow, family members, friends, and the entire law enforcement community who have stood by our side for all of these years."

    Douglas Escobar is still awaiting trial in the case.