Hearing for Mexican actor Pablo Lyle
Mexican actor Pablo Lyle on Monday was ordered to post a $50,000 bond and must remain in Miami as prosecutors said they are considering a possible manslaughter or second-degree murder charge against him for punching a motorist who later died.
Lyle, 32, is currently charged with felony battery for the punch landed on 63-year-old Juan Ricardo Hernandez during a road-rage confrontation in Miami on March 31. Hernandez, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, died four days later at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The actor will have to remain on house arrest in Miami-Dade with an electronic GPS ankle monitor, Circuit Judge Alan Fine ruled.
Lyle was the star of “Mi Adorable Maldición,” or “My Adorable Curse,” and now acts in movies. His defense lawyers say Lyle was defending himself, his wife and two children from what he believed was a violent attacker.
“This was about a peaceful man protecting his family,” defense lawyer Philip Reizenstein told a gaggle of reporters after the hearing. “They were assaulted and attacked without warning or provocation.”
Said his other lawyer, Bruce Lehr: “This is a road rage but Pablo Lyle is the victim of the road rage.”
When he was first arrested more than a week ago, Lyle was released from jail on a $5,000 bond. But after Hernandez died, another Miami-Dade circuit judge revoked his right to travel and ordered that he appear in court because of the likelihood of enhanced criminal charges.
Lyle will be required to stay in Miami until at least May 1, when the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office will announce any upgraded charges.
On Monday, prosecutors had requested a $1 million bond, and that Lyle be required to stay in Miami on an electronic monitor.
“It’s been reported, it’s been spoken about that this may be a manslaughter,” Assistant State Attorney Genevieve Valle told the judge. “It may be a second-degree murder.”
The actor, who flew in from Mexico to appear in court, was followed through the courtroom hallways by a horde of mostly Spanish-language TV reporters.
The incident happened last month, as Lyle was in town with his wife, actress Ana Araujo, and two young children.
On the day of the confrontation, his brother-in-law, Lucas Delfino, was driving them to Miami International Airport to catch a flight back to Mexico. Delfino’s son was also in the car.
Delfino accidentally got off onto Northwest 27th Avenue off the Dolphin Expressway. Trying to make a U-turn to get back on the expressway, he cut off Hernandez.
Both cars stopped at the intersection of Northwest 27th Avenue and 14th Street.
That’s when Hernandez got out and angrily banged on the driver’s window of the other car. Delfino got out of the car and the two began cursing at each other. The car was not in park and started rolling into the intersection.
Delfino ran back to the car to put it in park. In that moment, as Hernandez walked back toward his own car, Lyle got out of the passenger seat and ran toward the motorist and punched him.
“The blow can only be described as extraordinary, when you see the video footage,” Valle told the judge.
Hernandez crumpled to the ground, immediately rendered unconscious, she said.
Lyle rushed back to the car and told his brother-in-law to “go, go, go,” the prosecutor said. A witness wrote down the car’s tag number and reported it to police.
Lyle put his family on the flight, but stayed in Miami to talk to police. He told police that he punched only because Hernandez raised his hands.
Defense attorneys Lehr and Reizenstein insisted that Hernandez was the aggressor and that video footage circulated in the media has been sped up to make the run-and-punch look worse than it was.
Lyle, the defense said, had no idea what Hernandez might retrieve from his car.
“The deceased, who had been violently trying to break the driver’s side window, was running back to his car,” Lehr said. “For what? For a club? For a knife? For a gun?”