Actor Found Guilty of Manslaughter in Miami Road-Rage Attack

Mexican telenovela star Pablo Lyle was convicted of manslaughter in a Miami courtroom on Tuesday. It took the jury less than five hours to convict the actor, who could now face up to 15 years in prison. The 35-year-old Lyle fatally punched Juan Ricardo Hernandez, 63, in a 2019 road rage incident.

When the verdict was read, Hernandez's wife, Mercedes Arce, broke into tears. Lyle stayed calm and kissed his wife, Ana Araujo, reports Local 10. He was then handcuffed and escorted away, less than five hours after the jury began its deliberations.

"Today's jury verdict finding Pablo Lyle guilty of the manslaughter death of 63-year-old Juan Ricardo Hernández shows the outrageous destructiveness of 'Road Rage' incidents," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement after the verdict. "Two lives were destroyed by simple roadway anger, a situation we see far too often on our streets and on streets across the country. I am very proud of the efforts and hard work by Assistant State Attorneys Shawn Abuhoff and Gabriela Alfaro that has brought a measure of justice to Mr. Hernandez's surviving family."

In late March 2019, Lyle punched Hernandez during a road rage confrontation. Lyle was arrested shortly after the incident, and Hernandez died four days later at a hospital. Lyle's attorneys argued that the actor acted in self-defense, making a failed bid to convince a judge that Lyle's actions were within his rights under Florida's Stand Your Ground Law. Attorney Philip Reizenstein stuck with the self-defense argument during his closing. "This case is about fear," Reizenstein told the jury.

Assistant State Attorney Gabriela Alfaro disagreed, arguing that the case centered on an outburst of anger. She said the punch was unnecessary. "That punch Mr. Lyle did actually caused the victim to fall back to hit his head and to crack open his skull, and ultimately those injuries caused his death," Alfaro said.

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During her testimony on Friday, Arujo, who shares two children with Lyle and has also acted in Mexico, said Hernandez was "aggressive" when he got out of the car. Arujo and their children were in the car at the time of the incident. She testified that Hernandez said "nasty things" and banged on the door, causing her to panic because their children were "very scared." Arujo also said she did not see the punch.

Lyle was originally charged with battery before Hernandez's death, and allowed to return to Mexico. He was charged with manslaughter after Hernandez died and returned to Miami. He was released on a $50,000 bond and has been on house arrest for almost three years. His sentencing hearing has not been scheduled yet.