On April 14, 2023, a Hernando County jury returned a verdict of guilty for Second Degree Murder with a Firearm. The defendant, Antonio Rivera, was sentenced to life in prison.
On March 25, 2020, Antonio Rivera was in the process of moving out of a residence he had been sharing with the victim, Luis Baez, and his wife, Deanna Baez. As the defendant was packing his belongings, an altercation occurred between him and Luis.
During the confrontation, Rivera, who had armed himself an hour earlier, shot Luis a total of 11 times. Six of those shots were fired into Luis's back while he lay face down on the ground. Following the shooting, Rivera swiftly fled the scene on his motorcycle and evaded capture for two months before being apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Service in north Georgia.
During an interview, the defendant admitted to shooting Luis Baez. The evidence in this case was supported by the testimony of neighbors who either witnessed or heard the incident, and expert forensic analysis.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty for Antonio Rivera on charges of Second Degree Murder and Hernando County Circuit Judge Stephen Toner sentenced Rivera to life in prison. Additionally, in May, the defendant pleaded guilty to a separate charge of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Rob Lewis.
Posted on 6/9/2023