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Could Dereck Rosa get the death penalty? A Lawyer weighs in

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A lawyer weighs in on Dereck Rosa's case (Photos: MundoNow-Miami Dade Prosecutor's Office)
  • A lawyer talks about Dereck Rosa’s case.
  • The 13-year-old killed his mother.
  • Could he get the death penalty?

Could a child be sentenced to life in prison? So far everything the defense has indicated in Dereck Rosa’s case says this could happen.

The 13-year-old confessed to stabbing his mother to death while she was sleeping next to his newborn sister.

Lawyer Lester Nieves spoke with MundoNow to explain what consequences Rosa could face and what the sentencing options for such a heinous crime may be.

The murder, that occurred in Hialeah, Florida on October 13, has shocked the Hispanic community in the United States.

Dereck Rosa’s case

Dereck Rosa, death penalty, attack, Florida, murder, homicide
Photos: MundoNow-Miami Dade Prosecutor’s Office

Dereck Rosa’s case made headlines after the teenager called 911 to confess that he had stabbed his mother Irina García.

“This case is very serious and horrible, that is the only thing we can say about this,” said Lester Nieves before analyzing each step that the defense and the prosecution have taken so far.

In Rosa’s initial court appearances, he was denied bail and it was determined that he will be tried as an adult and held in an adult prison.

However, Nieves believes that the young man will end up in a juvenile detention center.

Why Rosa could be moved to juvenile detention

conviction, death penalty, teenager, Florida, crime
Photos: MundoNow-Miami Dade Prosecutor’s Office

Nieves believes Dereck Rosa will be moved to a juvenile facility because “the law prohibits mixing adults with minors.”

Second, “When you are charged as an adult and found guilty, you begin your sentence in juvenile detention or a juvenile jail. Once you turn 18 they transfer you to the adults,” he said.

Rosa’s lawyers will not have an easy job with Dereck Rosa’s case— Nieves believes that there are not many alternatives.

“The defense is going to be very difficult, because based on what I have seen they are going to have to request a mental evaluation, outside of a mental evaluation there really is no defense here,” he says.

Rosa will be tried as an adult

knife, weapon, Irina García, Dereck Rosa, brutality
Photos: MundoNow-Miami Dade Prosecutor’s Office

The option proposed by Nieves would only help Rosa if during the mental evaluation “they find a problem that is so serious that he did not know what he was doing at that moment.”

Dereck’s relatives have come to his defense.

They highlight his impeccable conduct and academic record. They have also sent letters to the court asking for clemency for him.

“The testimony of family members cannot free him from guilt,” explains Nieves.

Could Rosa get the death penalty?

Dereck Rosa, death penalty, attack, Florida, murder, homicide
Photos: MundoNow-Miami Dade Prosecutor’s Office

The family’s testimony in Dereck Rosa’s case could affect «how the case proceeds in terms of sentencing and how the prosecution presents the case, charges may even be changed or lesser charges may be presented, but not in terms of guilt.»

We asked Nievers what this young man could face in the future and what his sentence may be.

«In terms of a sentence he is too young for the death penalty. Florida has the death penalty, but those penalties do not apply to minors and even less so with his age.»

After reflecting for a few minutes, the lawyer made an important suggestion.

What sentence could he face?

attack, beatings, prison, criminals, delinquents
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Nieves said: “What they might be looking at in terms of judgment It would be a life sentence.»

He continued: «The question is what does it mean in terms of his age now and we don’t know that yet.»

Nieves recognizes that Dereck Rosa’s case has already broken with some norms, so anything could happen.

“The prosecution is trying him as an adult. The law says that they can charge someone as an adult depending on the case, in Florida. It has been since 14 years, but everything has its exception and we are looking at it today.”

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