Red-light camera footage played an unexpected role in court — helping convict a man who gunned down a motorist after a botched drug deal and car chase through the streets of Miami Gardens.
The killer, Marcelyn Mathieu, this week was sentenced to 35 years in prison for the murder of Evani Galvez, who was fatally shot in Miami Gardens on July 20, 2011.
Police found Galvez shot to death inside his Jeep, which had crashed into chain-link fence at a home on the 20500 block of Northeast Second Avenue.
Investigators concluded that Galvez had met with Mathieu in the parking lot of a nearby Ross for a drug deal that went sour. Galvez drove away in his Jeep, followed by Mathieu, who was a passenger in the white Pontiac Grand-Am.
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At trial, prosecutors Elena Doyle and Annette Rasco showed text messages setting up the deal.
And they played red-light camera footage that showed the Pontiac chasing the Jeep, which turned right at a nearby intersection. The cameras, usually reviled by the public, are normally used to capture footage of motorists running red lights. In Galvez’s case, he did not actually run the red light, but the camera was running continuously.
Moments later, the Pontiac sped up alongside the Jeep on a residential street. Witnesses said Mathieu leaned out of the passenger-side window and opened fire, fatally striking Galvez and causing the Jeep to crash.
Jurors, after deliberating three hours, convicted Mathieu in December. He was sentenced Thursday by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Richard Hersch.
Mathieu will also have to serve a whopping 35 years of probation after he completes his prison term.