Yaimi Guevara Machado’s life ended at 30 when she was murdered after she got locked out of her room in bra and jeans at an Okeechobee Road motel. Ronald Lopezandrade is facing rape and first-degree murder charges.
But a Miami-Dade jury decided the staff and ownership of Hialeah’s Chesapeake Motel shared $12 million of responsibility in Machado’s April 2016 death.
That award to Julia Machado and Rafael Guevara, Machado’s parents, ended their negligent security lawsuit against The Waves of Hialeah, Inc., which Miami-Dade property records lists as the owners of the Chesapeake Motel, 935 Okeechobee Road. According to Sunbiz.org, The Waves’ president and secretary are, respectively, Alfredo Valdes and Mayra Valdes of Coral Gables.
The suit accused lax staff of doing nothing to help Yaimi Machado after she got locked out of the room she was sharing with a friend and doing nothing about Lopezandrade, now 28, a resident of a nearby apartment building hanging around the motel.
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“When he reaches the desk where the clerk is, he immediately lies to her and says he’s the manager’s son,” said Jason Brenner of The Haggard Law Firm, at a Monday news conference. “She knows full well who the manager’s son is … but she says nothing. He requests beer. She sells it to him even though they had a policy not to sell to non-guests. She doesn’t ask him if he’s staying there, visiting anybody, absolutely nothing.”
“Minutes later, he asks for a woman. She replies, ‘Service women need to be found outside.’ At that point he lingers another five minutes, then she sends him outside to the hallway where 106 is, where Yaimi was staying.”
While Lopezandrade aggressively requested kisses from a housekeeper in a nearby room, Brenner said, the same clerk told Yaimi Machado to leave the lobby and go back to room 106, but for no reason. Yaimi Machado had gotten locked out of the room after her friend left and had gone to the lobby to request a key. The motel has a policy prohibiting opening a room door for anyone but the person to whom the room was registered. Brenner said that wasn’t Yaimi Machado.
“(The clerk) had no intention of ever opening the door,” Brenner said. “She sent her out and watched her walk into the hands of this man. That’s when you see their failures.”
Also, Haggard firm lawyer Christopher Marlowe pointed out, the hotel had no security guard. The man who identified himself as a security guard to police actually was just a housekeeper.
Julia Machado said in Spanish, “I am very hurt because my heart will always be mourning. I hope there will be justice in my daughter’s case. Yaimi was a girl full of life, who always thought about her future, her family and moving forward in this country. Until she went through that horrible moment in that place.”