A South Florida judge has rescinded an order allowing a Mexican soap opera star to travel outside the U.S., saying he's likely to face a more serious charge from a fatal traffic confrontation than the third-degree battery charge filed recently.
The judge held a hearing in Miami-Dade Monday to discuss the bond and travel order for 32-year-old Pablo Lyle, a star of the TV soap opera "Mi Adorable Maldicion."
Lyle appeared in court with his wife, as defense attorneys were seeking permission for him to be allowed to visit family in Mexico. Prosecutors said they wanted a $1 million bond imposed.
The judge gave Lyle $50,000 bond plus house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor. He also had to surrender his passport and must stay in Miami.
"It is a road rage case but Pablo Lyle is the victim of the road rage," defense attorney Bruce Lehr told reporters outside the courtroom.
At one point, Lyle had to walk through a throng of reporters when the initial judge on the case had to recuse herself because she is friends with a defense attorney. He didn't answer reporters' questions.
After Lyle's arrest last Monday for punching Juan Ricardo Hernandez, 63, during a traffic confrontation in Miami, the actor posted bond, and he was granted permission to fly to Mexico, which he did. Then Hernandez died Thursday at Jackson Memorial Hospital after sustaining a brain injury from the altercation, and NBC 6 obtained video that raised questions about the account Lyle and his brother-in-law gave police.
According to Lyle's account detailed in the arrest affidavit, Lyle and his brother-in-law, whom police did not identify, said they feared for their safety after Hernandez got out of his car at a stoplight to protest Lyle's brother-in-law cutting him off in traffic.
Hernandez walked up to the driver's side window, pounded on it with an open hand and the brother-in-law got out and said, "Don't bang on my window," according to the brother-in-law's account in the affidavit.
Once the brother-in-law saw his car rolling toward the intersection, he ran back to it and stopped it. The brother-in-law told detectives he didn't see a physical confrontation between Lyle and Hernandez.
But surveillance video appears to show the brother-in-law getting out of his car and arguing before Hernandez banged on the window.
As the brother-in-law runs back to the rolling car, Hernandez heads back toward his car. Lyle jumps out of the passenger seat and runs toward Hernandez who is almost to the open door of his car, video shows.
Hernandez sees Lyle approaching and turns to face him while still backing up with hands raised, the video appears to show. Lyle is then seen punching Hernandez in the head and Hernandez collapses.
In the arrest affidavit, Lyle told police investigators that he feared for his family's safety and thought that Hernandez was going to hit him first.
Lyle was initially charged with felony battery. Court records released Friday said "enhanced charges are likely to be filed."
"He had to react to the emergency in this matter. This is one punch. How dare they say this is a second-degree murder investigation. They can never ever ever prove intent to kill," defense attorney Philip Reizenstein told reporters. "You know my mother used to say when you go looking for trouble you’re going to find it and that’s what happened to that man. It's sad, it's an accident. He had no intention to kill anyone. It’s not a murder case and the prosecution should stop saying it’s a murder investigation, they know it’s not a murder investigation. They could never prove intent because he never intended to do anything except defend his family and Florida guarantees you that right."
Lyle starred in several telenovelas, including "La Sombra del Pasado" and "Corazón Que Miente." He also made People en Español's "50 Most Beautiful" list in 2015.