The attorney for one of the men exonerated in the Christmas night shooting death of a former Army Ranger said newly released video proves what he argued from the beginning: his client, Kenin Bailey, is innocent and defended himself.
Retired U.S. Army veteran Fernando Duarte was shot and killed during a confrontation in the parking lot of the Miccosukee Resort and Casino. Bailey and his friend, Mikey Lenard were arrested and charged with first degree murder following the shooting.
The charges against the men were later dropped after surveillance video revealed Bailey shot Duarte in self-defense. And, newly released video obtained by the Miami Herald shows the confrontation that led to the shooting.
Investigators said the casino altercation started inside with Duarte hurling racial slurs at Bailey and Lenard at a poker table. The video then shows Duarte being escorted out by Miccosukee Police.
The video also shows what happened when prosecutors said the Army veteran spotted the same men from the poker table outside in the parking lot. He is seen threatening the men, who were inside their car. Then Duarte blocked Bailey’s car, gets out and charges toward them. That’s when Bailey opened fire. Duarte was shot and killed.
"I just don't know why an arrest was made based on what was seen," argued Peter Heller, the attorney for Bailey. Heller said his client was in fear of his life and fired his gun in self-defense.
"Everything that he has told me had happened is actually what the video shows," said Heller. He said Duarte was the aggressor.
"The Miccosukee Police force made such a knee-jerk arrest without a thorough investigation," said Heller.
Bailey's attorney told NBC 6 that he's exploring a civil lawsuit against Miccosukee Police.