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Second Jupiter homicide suspect arrested, tried and sentenced in Cuban court

Posted: 8:48 PM, Aug 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-18 00:48:03Z
Cuban court sentences man in Jupiter homicide
Cuban court sentences man in Jupiter homicide

A second suspect in the murder of a retired Jupiter doctor has been arrested, tried and sentenced in Cuban court, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. 

Marcos Ernesto Yanes Gutierrez was found guilty in the murder of Dr. Ronald Schwartz, 68, in February and sentenced to 20 years in Cuban prison. 

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that this is the first time in the history of the United States and Cuba, a law enforcement officer from the United States testified in a criminal trial in Cuba. A prosecutor from the Palm Beach County’s State Attorney’s Office also was present during the trial.

The crime happened on July 19, 2015, at the doctor's home in the 9700 block of Mockingbird Trail in Jupiter. 

According to the news release, Dr. Schwartz was found dead inside his home during a welfare check. Further investigation determined that he had been a victim of a homicide. 

During the course of the investigation, Palm Beach County Sheriffs' Office Homicide Detectives found Marcos Yanes Gutierrez and Saul Lopez as the two suspects responsible for the murder. 

Lopez was located and arrested after a judge signed arrest warrants on December 2015. Gutierrez was found to have fled the U.S. to Cuba. 

Members of the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted with communication with the Cuban government.  It was determined that Gutierrez would not be extradited to the United States but would be tried for murder in Cuba on Palm Beach County homicide charges.

Members of the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office and a detective from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit traveled to Cuba to meet with Cuban prosecutors.

"For the very first time in the history of the United States and Cuban government, a Cuban citizen was put on trial in Cuba for a murder committed in the United States," PBSO said in the release. 

Co-defendant Saul Lopez is still awaiting his murder trial in Palm Beach County.