South Florida

Margate Man Found Not Guilty in Oral Sex Murder Trial

A jury found a South Florida man not guilty Monday of second-degree murder after he said his girlfriend accidentally died during oral sex.

Richard Henry Patterson, 64, was facing a second-degree murder charge in the October 2015 death of 60-year-old Francisca Marquinez in Margate. 

Closing arguments were delivered Monday morning, and the jury began deliberations in the afternoon before delivering the not guilty verdict a few hours later.

Defense attorney Kenneth Padowitz said prosecutors failed to make their case.

"Cause of death undetermined, manner of death undetermined. This is the foundation of their case," Padowitz said.

The defense rested their case Friday afternoon, but not before bringing former Broward County medical examiner Dr. Ronald Wright to the stand. Dr. Wright's testimony focused on whether someone could die of asphyxiation during oral sex, as Patterson claims.

Before the trial began earlier this week, Patterson's attorney filed a motion to have the jury be allowed to view his client's genitalia. The motion said it was "essential" for the jury to see Patterson's genitalia to understand the defense in the case.

The motion was never granted.

The defense also argued a motion to acquit Patterson Friday, saying there wasn't enough evidence to prove a crime was committed, but the judge disagreed.

Police said the body of Marquinez was found in her home at the Royal Park Gardens Condominiums in the 6700 block of Royal Palm Boulevard on Oct. 28, 2015. Patterson, Marquinez's boyfriend of four months, lived in the same complex.

"This was a terrible tragedy that happened to this lady that my client was very much in love with," Padowitz said. "Right now Mr. Patterson is just very happy that justice has been done and that he can go home with his grandchildren and he's looking forward to doing that right now."

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