For once, however, Communism's failings came in handy. Jobs were so scarce that many mothers of children with disabilities had no choice but to become tutors. Reynaldo attended a small school devoted to children like him, where mothers with hearing-impaired sons of their own taught him sign language as well as how to write and read in Spanish.

He was clever too. From the time he was 3 years old, Reynaldo would crawl under the family car and watch his dad tinker with its jury-rigged parts. Soon he was helping with repairs, his small hands covered in grease just like his father's.

By 2000, hunger in Havana had eased. But the Muñozes were as desperate as ever to leave. Idalmis had just given birth to a daughter, and as soon as she was strong enough, the family planned to escape the island.

Muñoz's body after it was pulled from the bay
Courtesy of Miami-Dade Police Department
Muñoz's body after it was pulled from the bay
The computer part Muñoz used to hot-wire the WaveRunner (Yasmin Davis said she mistook it for a gun).
Courtesy of Miami-Dade Police Department
The computer part Muñoz used to hot-wire the WaveRunner (Yasmin Davis said she mistook it for a gun).

The Muñozes drove two hours in the middle of the night to the beach town of Varadero, where the four of them climbed into a tiny boat with ten others and pushed out to sea. The powerful Caribbean currents turned the journey to freedom into a night from hell. For 12 hours, the lancha was battered by the ocean. One wave slammed Idalmis against the metal hull so hard it cracked a vertebra. Her husband also broke four ribs during the voyage, leaving 10-year-old Reynaldo to hold his infant sister.

When the boat finally plunged into the sand near Marathon the next morning, Idalmis could hardly move. A local fisherman rushed her to the hospital, while cops detained her husband and two children. It would be several days before the family was reunited at the Krome Detention Center, and then released at a Cuban welcome center on Calle Ocho.

Life in Florida wouldn't be easy for Reynaldo Jr. Instead of the small, specialized classes in Cuba, he now found himself one of 35 students per teacher at Palm Springs Middle School in Hialeah. He couldn't read or write English. Even worse, American Sign Language was nothing like the version he'd learned in Havana. He had to start over.

Struggling to make friends and keep up in class, Reynaldo often retreated into a silent world of spare parts. He would find broken gas barbecue grills on the side of the road, fix them, and sell them — only to buy more junk for his truck or the Wave­Runner his parents had bought him.

"From the day he was born, he was surrounded by men working on cars," his father remembers. "He could fix a car with parts that weren't even from that car. He loved to invent things like that. And they always worked."

Reynaldo Jr. was handsome and charismatic. And his uncanny ability to fix anything endeared him to others. "He would tell you when something was wrong with your car," Idalmis says. "He couldn't hear it, but he could tell just from the vibrations."

Reynaldo still had difficulty reading and writing in English, but his mechanical skills enabled him to graduate with honors from Miami Lakes Educational Center. It was the proudest moment of his life, and he happily posed for photographs in his cap and gown.

After graduation, however, the teenager found it nearly impossible to find a job. He resorted to helping his dad repair signs around town. Idalmis kept him on a close leash. "He was very dependent on us," she says. "He was never gone more than three or four hours from the house before we would call and check in on him."

"We made him dependent on us," Reynaldo Sr. says.

"I felt the need to protect him," Idalmis admits.

In the months before his death, however, Reynaldo had begun to strike out more on his own. While riding his jet ski on the weekends, he had made friends — young men with nicknames like "Mohawk" and "El Negro." He even had his first girlfriend.

"Everything seemed like it was going fine," Idalmis recalls. "But in my heart, I knew something wasn't right."


Blood dripping down his face and blossoming on his white T-shirt, Jack Davis stumbled into the kitchen. The blast had slammed the shotgun butt against his mouth and sliced open his lip. But that wasn't why he was crying. The 14-year-old, in shock, slumped against the refrigerator. Soledad Goycochea, the family's housemaid, took the gun out of his hands and held him in her arms. "Oh my God," Jack kept mumbling to himself. "I killed a person."

If Jack was just coming to grips with what had happened, his mother's mind was racing ahead to visions of her son on trial. While the first cop on the scene was busy fishing Reynaldo Muñoz's body out of the water, Yasmin Davis was already working on damage control.

"I shot him," she told her son, commandingly. "I shot him."

It was the first in a series of lies that the Davises would tell police that day, lies told to protect the family's precocious son and paint the slain intruder as a dangerous criminal. And it worked. Whether they were overwhelmed by the Davises' wealth, intimidated by the family's phalanx of lawyers, or simply incompetent, Miami-Dade Police would ignore key evidence and mishandle crucial information.

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34 comments
fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

Good on Michael Miller for a fair and comprehensive review of the Munoz shooting. 


After the ghoulish mother ordered her teenage son to execute Munoz, both parents told one lie after another to thwart the investigation. One might reasonably infer that the incompetent, dishonest detective and the dishonourable prosecutors never intended to conduct a thorough and fair investigation.


Condolences to Mr and Mrs. Munoz.

Reason
Reason

Those who think that a HUMAN LIFE is worth killing to protect a THING worth $2,000(or much less according to some bloodthirsty commenters on here) and defending blatant liars and people who break serious laws (i.e. the real criminals, like the family that corrupts the morals of a child, tampered with evidence, perjured, obstructed justice, and killed coldbloodedly a poor disabled refugee AND those who conspired to obstruct justice by violating laws and policies in order to allow this rich family avoid responsibilty for their crimes) are really so warped in their thought process, moral values, and common sense that no amount of facts, evidence, laws, and reasoning offered would change their desire to kill people JUST BECAUSE THEY WANT to due to their abusive interpretation and malicious application of Florida's Stand Your Ground law that was intended to allow PEOPLE to use violent and even deadly force to PROTECT Themseves when THEIR HEALTH OR SAFETY is reasonably deemed in IMMINENT DANGER. Not to protect replaceable things, especially the Davises could file an insurance claim or, gulp, replace their toy since $2k is pocket change to these mansion-dwelling privileged folks.

This case and the arguments offered by people to defend or to try to justify such a crime and senseless KILLING OF A HUMAN BEING reflects badly on the people themselves, the state of Florida, the local legal system, and on the vast majority of us 2nd amendment advocates. The Davises will have to pay for their crime(s) eventually, first by paying their victim's family millions in the civil suit, which could produce enough evidence of criminalilty such as perjury, tampering with evidence, corrupting the morals of a child, obstruction, conspiracy, and some level of unlawful homicide (probably manslaughter instead of murder) to force a criminal case, especially if there is evidence of conspiracies with government officials and entities involved in this case (who are usually named as defendants in civil rights violation lawsuits such as this one). They all will probably use money (private, insurances, and taxpayers') to escape criminal prosecution and justice for their crimes and coverups. The rich and their cronies often do pay for their crimes. They just use money to pay for lawyers, judges, politicians, bureaucrats,and victims while we regular people pay with our freedom, health, and as in this case LIFE...for a minor, nonviolent crime that he would probably get a probated sentence since he has no priors ( and B.S. to the nonsense that this theft would likely lead to more serious crimes and even a "life of crime" because there's no objective data to support it, the young man's background would not support it--many people his age have made more serious and damaging choices than stealing a $2k thing and turned out fine--, plus if he's not yet an American citizen, he would have learned very quickly after his first offense that he could be deported if he continued to commit serious crimes).

This family has a strain of that disease called "Affluenza"-- see the headline grabbing case of the Fort Worth, Texas 16 year old b

Reason
Reason

Man, the readers who commented on this story are either a special breed foreign to most fair-minded and reasonable American citizens or are shills and sock puppets for this privileged wealthy family. There's nothing unfair or unreasonable or out of the ordinary for an "investigative" piece of journalism like this one.

Such an article is driven by credible factual evidence of injustice, corruption, incompetence, conspiracy, lack of transparency,or other issues that have wider implications for the community and "public interest." The major issues of "public interest" are (1) Florida's Stand Your Ground law is flawed at best because it COULD be used by trigger-happy individuals or by individuals needing a legal cover to avoid taking appropriate personal responsibility for their criminal act/s, (2) there is evidence of a classic case of preferential treatment by governmental authorities toward those who are financially well-off or well-connected, with the opposite generally being the lot in life for most other individuals ( the old saying is often very true: the rich and poor pay for their crimes, it's just that the poor pay with their freedom and lives while the rich pay with their money--hiring a team of top-notch lawyers, making campaign contributions to the DA, sheriff, city and state leaders, etc.), (3) often corruption and/or incompetence by governmental entities and officials is a major factor in the privileged few in society getting away with things that the rest of us cannot.

This report is full of facts that clearly paint a picture of how such an unfair system works. Neither the writer nor the grieving parents try to deny that the dead man had committed a crime of stealing a $2,000 property, which most reasonable and fair-minded people (and the law governing such crimes) deem as relatively minor and not deserving of taking a human life. The dead man's background is relevant to this story because it adds an element of tragedy and humanity (a poor family that risked their lives fleeing an unjust society and starting to enjoy the freedom, opportunities, and equality under the law in their new home gets a shocking and deadly taste of the dark side of this great nation/society) to the disparity in how people from different socio-economic classes are treated by many laws and government officials (made and enforced by people who get campaign donations and other very legal benefits from the wealthy class).

Those who think that a human life

melinda_cook68
melinda_cook68

"Nye's ex-husband, fellow cop Luis Manuel Marrero, had been arrested June 14, 2008, for sexually assaulting one of their two teenage daughters, along with one of the girl's friends"...

By saying it was one of her teenage daughters you just basically named the innocent victim of a sexual assualt. WHY would you do that?? 

kcguitarplayer
kcguitarplayer

The only justifiable reason to take a life is to immediately preserve your own life or that of someone Else's. Going one step further, even to prevent bodily harm. But there is no object in this world you need bad enough to kill someone over. No doubt there are those who are looking for any reason to blow somebody away. Perhaps those people would think better of it if those who are stealing decided (as they too often do) to murder everyone before they stole from them. Admittingly this is an extreme argument but if material objects are worth killing for , what does it matter who temporarily owns the object. These philosophical arguments go on for ever but the killing should stop somewhere. Sadly there will always be those who enjoy killing and look to justify it.

fantastika
fantastika

What a crock of journalist dog-dodo.

If someone is stealing your car right in front of you, you warn him off, he just takes it anyway, gives you the finger and drives off in your car, and you are just supposed to say "Okay", and smile?

Horse thieves were hung in the Old West, and car-jackers and boat stealers should be hung, today. Shooting them is a mercy.

With pro-crime "news"papers like this, no wonder criminals run riot in South Florida.


yuri.ossorio
yuri.ossorio

the price you pay for the life you choose... who ever wrote this article is a complete and utter idiot!!!!!!!! he was warned yet he chose to not give a F**K !!!!

rickgalland357
rickgalland357

So far I have tried very hard to give this "publication" the benefit of the doubt, but I can today state with certainty that the New Times is nothing more than a fifth-rate yellow rag more intent on lionizing the "accomplishments" of a common thief, and painting the actions of law-abiding citizens as proper of criminals.  Let's face it boys, the punk came looking for trouble, and trouble found him.  Hopefully some criminals will take this lesson to heart and remember "Thou Shall not Steal'.  And he if had come to my home and tried the same stunt, he would be just as dead.

Jacked
Jacked

20 year old tries to steal, and is shot in the act and dies.

and the thief is the victim? 

shooter should get the key to the city!


lonianderson1979
lonianderson1979 topcommenter

Very biased article. I don't like the way you paint the Davis' as evil rich people and the dead criminal as some kind of victim. It's a sad story but the Davis' lives have been turned upside down too. Also the Campbell story is totally irrelevant.

LWBulldog
LWBulldog

The father is wrong. It has nothing to do with a fight between rich and poor. It has everything to do with a criminal stealing something that does not belong to him and an owner of property protecting his rights whether the property is on land or on sea. People need to understand the difference in right and wrong...There are no morals being taught today and that is the parents fault.  In this case, the gun was the deciding factor, unfortunately.

joeb104
joeb104

his choice, his life. ENDO.

Maynard56
Maynard56

I'm betting that kid won't be stealing any more jet skis. I will bet he won't have the opportunity to graduate into a career offender where he commits a burglary or does something like commit a rape or murder. Sorry, but when you go onto someone's property to steal their stuff, you have to expect the worst that can happen because sometimes it will.

Like this case. Perhaps Munoz mother should, instead of suing the people who were being violated by her son, should take a look in the mirror and wonder where she went wrong as a parent. Clearly, her blaming the Davis family for the result of her son's plot that he set in motion is a pretty good indicator of what type of parent she was.

Someone who doesn't know how to take responsibility for her own actions. Just like her kid. Except he had no choice but to take responsibility. 

icculus17
icculus17

can't wait to move out of this third world country, this is not the real America

Justin Ortega
Justin Ortega

Every review on their page is 1 star, with the comments all horribly negative. This seems to be the status quo of this political tabloid.

Chris Hockenbury
Chris Hockenbury

HE TRIED TO STEAL A WAVERUNNER!! He got shot trying, end of story. He's not a victim, he's a dead thief.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

I'm proud of the comments section of this story.

Chris Pino
Chris Pino

Shame on you New Times Broward Palm Beach for letting one of your writers right such a shitty story, and then actually allowing it to be published... Someone should be fired over this "investigative report"!

Chris Pino
Chris Pino

This is like the polar opposite of Fox news... While I think we should have SOME gun control, and I think killing someone over a waverunner is a bad choice, and I also think having your son do the shooting for you is an even worse choice. I don't agree that this kid stealing the waverunner is the victim, would it have been nice if he just got arrested instead of getting killed? SURE. In the end, if you have the balls to climb up on someone's sea wall and jack their waverunner that they went and paid for (whether they are rich or not), you run the risk of getting your head blown off... It's that simple, and in this case, it didn't work out so good for him.

Shawn Weaver
Shawn Weaver

You guys sure have a way of twisting storys....thats why nobody reads your stuff anymore...he would still be alive if he didnt steal... thats the bottom line

Justin Ortega
Justin Ortega

Seriously, report the facts and leave the politically charged bias bullshit out of the story. This is why we need guns. The problem was solved before the 911 dispatcher could even ask the address for the 3rd time. The harder the media pushes gun control by trying to convince the public to sympathize for criminals, the more guns and ammo I'm going to buy. This kid was dead when his father couldnt teach him right from wrong. Doing wrong is just what got him shot. No sympathy for bad guys.

Mark Dougan
Mark Dougan

Guess he shouldn't be on other people's property stealing wave runners. Saves us from having to house a criminal for the next five years, or worse, saves some future victim of one of his escalated crimes - rape, murder, etc...

Rachel R Levy Lewis
Rachel R Levy Lewis

This article is so incredibly bad. How can you glorify this person's death this way? It doesn't matter who he was stealing from, whether they were rich or poor. This young man committed a crime and regardless of his cultural predicament or his handicap, had he not been a thief he would not have been put into a situation where he would have had to pay with his life. How was the Davis family supposed to know that the guy stealing their stuff in broad daylight was deaf? This is the most absurd and backwards use of pity I have seen yet. He's not a martyr, he's a thief.

Brian Bartlett
Brian Bartlett

I would have shot anyone stealing my shit too... I dont care how old or how young its how stupid are you for being a theif thinking for a minute a millionaire woulndt defednt themselves or not have a gun in the home. The more money people have the more willing they are to protect them selves and their property.

Steven A Akin
Steven A Akin

"My son died over some rich kid's toy," he says. Thats funny. YOUR SON DIED AS A THIEF!

Sandor Halako
Sandor Halako

sounds like a waste of life,I wouldn't kill someone for that. I think its a good law.

theproeliator
theproeliator

@fratdawgg23 Yes, the Munoz raised a felon and thief.  He was committing a forcible felony when he was killed.  He also had an accomplice.

theproeliator
theproeliator

@Reason It isn't that simple, Munoz was willing to commit a felony when people were home.  It is reasonable to assume he was dangerous along with his accomplice.

Jacked
Jacked

@Chris Pino   Ok, where do you live?  I want your stuff.  call the cops as I drive off with your car and crap.  

-the problem is he would likely have gotten away with the crime had he not been shot.

Jacked
Jacked

@Sandor Halako you too, where do you live?

Can I take your car?  how about you TV? 

 Please let me know the amount I'm allowed to steal before you shoot.

I promise to take a little less than that amount.



 
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