We have been critical of State Attorney Dave Aronberg in the past. One of the reasons is his office’s failure to aggressively prosecute dangerous criminals, which is the reason for this article.
In this case it’s about the death of West Boca’s Aaron Rajman. Rajman was murdered, shot in July in a home in Sandalfoot Cove. One of the men arrested for the murder is Roberto Ortiz. Of course all accused are innocent until proven guilty.
Back in January Ortiz was arrested for robbery with a firearm. According to the probable cause affidavit, Ortiz attacked and robbed a student.
He and another man approached three students who were walking home from their school bus stop. The other man had a handgun, and fired it in the general direction of one of the victims. Both of them kicked and punched that victim, and Ortiz allegedly searched his pockets.
One of the other victims had video of the incident. Both Ortiz’ high school principal and Ortiz’ mother identified him from the video. Ortiz then admitted he was at the scene and attacked the victim.
In other words, if the probable cause affidavit is accurate Aronberg’s office had compelling evidence that Ortiz had committed a violent crime. Which makes it hard to understand why they dropped the case against Ortiz in less than two weeks.
Our regular readers may remember the case of Brett Knowles, a Boca Isles resident who hit three pedestrians on US-441 near West Boca Medical Center while driving on a suspended license. Aronberg’s office stalled on the prosecution. His office had repeatedly let Knowles off easy on charges of driving while suspended. Their failure to fully prosecute him left a dangerous driver on the road with an attitude and led to serious injuries.
Now we have a case of a violent criminal who participated in a shooting, was released by Aronberg’s office, and then went on to commit murder.
We requested their file on the old Ortiz case and asked for an explanation, though we doubt his office will cooperate (no response in over 24 hours). In the past they’ve told us that they “do not comment on open cases”, but of course Aronberg has already commented on this open case.
It should be noted that somehow West Boca News was not included on the distribution list for Aronberg’s press release. Some people think it’s inappropriate for politicians to play favorites with the media, but we’re used to it.
Other details worth noting from this case:
1. Summer Church was also arrested and charged with murder and robbery. Ms. Church is a 16-year-old student at Olympic Heights High and a former student at Loggers’ Run Middle School. The Post interviewed her mom, who said that she was forced at gunpoint to call Rajman and was let out of the car before they reached the house. The mom also claims that she cooperated extensively with police.
2. Ortiz is or was a student at Quantum High School in Boynton Beach. Quantum is referred to by one media outlet as an “alternative” school. That may mean it’s an alternative to jail for some of its students. The school test scores are some of the worst in the county.
3. Swinton has a reported address in Margate but may live in Boynton Beach. It appears he attended Don Estridge Middle School and may be a Boynton Beach High student. Swinton and Church may have been dating.
4. The cases for Church and Ortiz are in the court system, though certain documents are not available yet and it’s not clear what will be in the ones that are in process. Swinton’s case does not show up in the court system yet but his arrest record is in the PBSO blotter.
The Palm Beach Sheriff announced today that they have arrested Gary Pierre (aka Garry Pierre) for the murder of Christo “Sto” Maccius.
We previously reported that Maccius, a West Boca High teacher and alumnus, was shot and killed in Sandalfoot Square.
Pierre has a lengthy criminal history in both Palm Beach and Broward including three felony arrests in Palm Beach. In 2012 he was arrested for robbery with a weapon. That charge was dropped by prosecutors. In 2007 and 2009 he faced felony drug charges. Broward courts show multiple drug felonies along with a grand theft charge. Those are just the felonies. He has also had several misdemeanor cases, criminal traffic cases and traffic violations.
The most recent address we see for Pierre is in Coral Springs. We have seen other addresses for him in North Broward as well as in Sandalfoot Cove near Boca Dunes.
Tilus Lebrun, the man accused of killing Jimmy “the Greek” Karaloukas and another worker in the restaurant, has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Our readers should remember the double murder in the Jimmy the Greek restaurant earlier this year. We wrote an update on the accused killer, Tilus Lebrun, in July.
There was a motion to determine competency made back in May. A mental health evaluation was received by the court on September 24th and a determination that Lebrun is not competent to stand trial was made by Judge Joseph Marx on the 30th.
The case is set for a status check in March of 2015.
Tilus Lebrun has additional charges pending against him, according to Palm Beach County court records. While we were looking up other court records we did a search and found that he had been rearrested in mid-May. Lebrun is already facing a 1st-degree murder charge for the alleged killing of Jimmy the Greek.
Lebrun faces four new counts, including two for battery on a law enforcement officer, one for resisting with violence, and one more. This likely refers to jail guards as Lebrun has not been released.
Lebrun is represented by Public Defender Nicole Parsons in this case and his next court date is July 25th with Judge Crow for “case disposition.”
On the original murder case, he is also represented by Ms. Parsons and will appear in front of Judge Marx on August 1st for a “status check.” There was an expert appointed to determine mental competency, but that issue does not seem to have been resolved yet.
The new case highlights something most people don’t think about. For someone in Lebrun’s situation, he is already facing something close to life in prison. So he has little to lose if he fights with guards. That’s why being a jail guard can be such an unpleasant line of work.