Dead MLB star's lawyer rips law enforcement, claims they framed his client
The lawyer representing the estate of former Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez claims the investigation that found the pitcher was responsible for the high-speed boating crash that killed Fernandez and two passengers was “shoddy” and that investigators altered or ignored evidence that did not support their finding.
Attorney Ralph Fernandez, who is no relation to the late pitcher, filed paperwork in court Monday as part of a civil claim against the pitcher’s estate from the families of the other victims.
The attorney claims investigators reached their conclusion prematurely and ignored the possibility the All-Star pitcher was drugged as part of a robbery attempt.
“Like a house of cards, this whole case is compromised,” the attorney wrote.
BREAKING: Jose Fernandez's lawyer claims fatal crash investigation framed Marlins ace https://t.co/h3AellyVFh pic.twitter.com/h8J23OByI0
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) April 3, 2018
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued its report on the crash in March of last year. It determined that Fernandez, 24, was responsible for the crash and was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time.
“Fernandez’s impairment and manner of operation caused the accident which resulted in his death and the death of his occupants, Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Macias,” the 46-page report concluded.
Investigators said Fernandez had a blood alcohol level of 0.14, above the legal threshold of 0.08.
Investigators used Fernandez’s DNA, found on the boat’s steering wheel and throttle, as well as fingerprints from the steering wheel, to determine that he was the driver, the report said.
But attorney Fernandez proposed a theory that someone slipped cocaine into one of the pitcher’s drinks in the hours leading up to the crash to make it easy to steal $15,000 that Fernandez was carrying in his backpack to tip various clubhouse employees for their help during the 2016 season.
The backpack was found, but the cash was not.
The attorney claims law enforcement never considered the idea that someone had slipped a drug into the pitcher’s drink, even though there were no signs of drug paraphernalia in the backpack or on the boat, the attorney wrote.
Jose Fernandez’s mother visits crash site on son’s 25th birthdayhttps://t.co/RjkqkZ5pFo pic.twitter.com/Tntnns1o3D
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) July 31, 2017
The attorney also accused the FWC of neglecting the possibility that Macias was operating the vessel until the moment of impact because Marcias is the son of a Miami police officer.
Chris Royer, the attorney representing the estates of Macias and Rivero, disputes the claims by the attorney for Fernandez.
“Despite what Ralph Fernandez has said in his most recent court filing, he has to admit there is no evidence whatsoever to support his contention that either Emilio Macias or Eduardo Rivero was operating the vessel at the time of the accident,” Royer told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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