In March and April an attorney representing the state sounded confident he’d be able to reach a plea deal with the four men accused of attacking a gay couple after Miami Beach Pride in 2018 before the next court hearing in August.
“We are in the midst of plea negotiations [...] there are some discussions going back and forth with some various options,” attorney Justin Funck told the judge in March.
At the Aug. 19 hearing the attorney sounded less confident about eventually reaching a plea deal.
“I know that at some point, there was, you know, hopes of resolving the case short of a trial,” Judge Andrea Wolfson said.
“I am going to have more discussions with the defense attorneys,” Funck said.
For now though a trial date has been set for November.
“I do think we're very close to either this case resolving by way of plea, or I think all parties being able to certify ready for trial,” Funck also said in March.
The four defendants — Adonis Diaz, Juan Carlos Lopez, Luis Alonso-Piovet, and Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa — all in their early 20s, have pleaded not guilty.
Here’s a recap of what allegedly happened: the attack took place when Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov were leaving a public bathroom in Lummus Park in Miami Beach on April 8, 2018.
“We were walking and holding hands and needed to use the bathroom,” Logunov told SFGN in 2018. So the two of them stopped at a public restroom as they headed home for the evening.
As Logunov walked out of the restroom he was allegedly called a “faggot” in Spanish, punched, and then beaten unconscious. His boyfriend at the time, Chalarca, quickly intervened, but three more men jumped in and began to attack them both.
The attack was caught on camera and the four defendants have been charged with three counts of aggravated battery. A hate crime enhancement was later added to the charges.
A third person, Helmut Estrada, attempted to assist Chalarca and Logunov. He was also attacked during the altercation and injured.