Ricardo Gonzalez Murders Bank Security Guard

Ricardo Gonzalez, Leonardo Franqui and Pablo San Martin were sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the murder of bank security officer Steven Bauer

According to court documents Ricardo Gonzales along with Leonardo Franqui, Pablo San Martin and two others would rob the Kislak National Bank in North Miami, Florida. During the robbery Steven Bauer would be shot and killed

Ricardo Gonzalez, Leonardo Franqui and Pablo San Martin would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

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Ricardo Gonzalez FAQ

Where Is Ricardo Gonzalez Now

Ricardo Gonzalez is incarcerated at Union Correctional Institution

Where Is Leonardo Franqui Now

Leonardo Franqui is incarcerated at Union Correctional Institution

Where Is Pablo San Martin Now

Pablo San Martin is incarcerated at Union Correctional Institution

Ricardo Gonzalez Case

On February 14, 1992, Ricardo Gonzalez (Gonzalez) was charged in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida with committing first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer;  armed robbery;  aggravated assault;  two counts of grand theft;  and two counts of burglary in connection with a January 3, 1992, bank robbery.   Gonzalez was tried jointly with his codefendants, Leonardo Franqui (Franqui) and Pablo San Martin (San Martin).   Gonzalez was convicted on all counts and sentenced to death for the murder.   This Court previously summarized the facts of this case as follows:

The defendant, Ricardo Gonzalez, along with codefendants Pablo San Martin, Leonardo Franqui, Fernando Fernandez, and Pablo Abreu, were charged with first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm while engaged in a criminal offense, grand theft in the third degree, and burglary.   Gonzalez, Franqui, and San Martin were tried together before a jury in May, 1994.

The record reflects that the Kislak National Bank in North Miami, Florida, was robbed by four gunmen on January 3, 1992.   The perpetrators made their getaway in two stolen grey Chevrolet Caprice cars after taking a cash box from one of the drive-in tellers.   During the robbery, police officer Steven Bauer was shot and killed. Shortly after the robbery, the vehicles were found abandoned two blocks west of the bank.

Approximately two weeks later, Gonzalez was stopped by police after leaving his residence on January 18, 1992.   He subsequently made unrecorded and recorded confessions in which he told police that Franqui had planned the robbery, involved the other participants and himself in the scheme, and chosen the location and date for the crime.   He said that Franqui had procured the two stolen Chevrolets, driven one of the cars, and supplied him with the gun he used during the robbery.   He further stated that Franqui was the first shooter and shot at the victim three or four times, while he had shot only once.   Gonzalez indicated that he shot low and believed he had only wounded the victim in the leg.   He was subsequently reinterviewed by police and, among other things, described how Franqui had shouted at the victim not to move before shooting him.

Franqui was also questioned by police on January 18, 1992, in a series of unrecorded and recorded sessions.   During his preinterview, Franqui initially denied any involvement in the Kislak Bank robbery, but when confronted with the fact that his accomplices were in custody and had implicated him, he ultimately confessed.   Franqui stated that Fernandez had hatched the idea for the robbery after talking to a black male, and he had accompanied the two men to the bank a week before the robbery actually took place.   He maintained that the black male friend of Fernandez had suggested the use of the two stolen cars, but denied any involvement in the thefts of the vehicles.   According to Franqui, San Martin, Fernandez, and Abreu had stolen the vehicles.   Franqui did admit to police that he and Gonzalez were armed during the episode, but stated that it was Gonzalez-and not himself-who yelled at the victim to “freeze” when they saw him pulling out his gun.   Franqui denied firing the first shot and maintained that he fired only one shot later.

At trial, over the objection of Gonzalez, the confessions of codefendants San Martin and Franqui were introduced without deletion of their references to Gonzalez, upon the trial court’s finding that their confessions “interlocked” with Gonzalez’s own confession.

Gonzalez was convicted on all counts, and after a penalty phase trial, the jury recommended death by a vote of seven to five.   The trial court followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Gonzalez to death.   Gonzalez raises the following issues on appeal:  (1) the trial court erred in denying Gonzalez’s peremptory challenges of jurors Diaz and Andani;  (2) the trial court erred in denying Gonzalez’s motion for severance based upon the introduction of the confessions of nontestifying codefendants Franqui and San Martin at their joint trial;  (3) Gonzalez was denied an impartial hearing at his penalty phase because of the court’s refusal to sever his case and to permit him to cross-examine San Martin’s experts;  and (4) his death sentence is disproportionate.


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