Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man accused in Avila killings to be held without bail

TAMPA — The man accused of killing Hector and Debra Rivera in their Avila home Monday will be held without bail, authorities decided Thursday.

Though that had been prosecutors' wish from the start, it was the public defender's office that moved the agreement forward Thursday — a move prompted by seven pages of allegations that place Julian Ospina-Florez at the murder scene with blood-soaked socks and a loaded gun.

Though he faced two counts of first-degree murder, Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich wasn't ready to deny Ospina-Florez bail at his first appearance Wednesday. The case was too circumstantial, the judge said.

So prosecutors pulled together a motion, listing some of deputies' evidence. In it, they stated that Ospina-Florez had ammunition in his car that matched the spent casings at the scene and that the gun was registered to him.

The motion was expected to be considered in court Friday.

But after reading over the motion and talking with accused shooter Julian Ospina-Florez, public defender Charles Traina said he'd agree with the state's request that bail be denied.

He asked the judge to cancel Friday's hearing.

And Heinrich agreed because of the facts in the motion, which he said "were substantial, that's for sure."

Ospina-Florez is accused of gunning down the Riveras after returning from a trade show in Sarasota with Debra Rivera, his employer.

For the past year, he had been Debra Rivera's driver and had assisted her with her jewelry and accessories business. Just days before the shooting, deputies say, she accused him and others of stealing $30,000 worth of merchandise.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Man accused in Avila killings to be held without bail 01/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 12, 2012 6:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  3. Assault charge may not sway voters in Montana election (w/video)


    BOZEMAN, Mont. — Republican multimillionaire Greg Gianforte won Montana's only U.S. House seat on Thursday despite being charged a day earlier with assault after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground.

    People fill out ballots for the special election to fill Montana's only U.S. House seat at the Montana Pavilion at MetraPark on Thursday in Billings, Mont. [Associated Press]
  4. Quiet college dropout turned bomber: Who was Salman Abedi?


    LONDON — He was quiet and withdrawn, a college dropout who liked soccer — and, some say, showed alarming signs of being radicalized years before he walked into a pop concert at Britain's Manchester Arena and detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and 22 others.

    Salman Abedi was identified by British authorities as the man behind Monday’s attack.
  5. Soldiers launch attacks in besieged Philippine city


    MARAWI, Philippines — Backed by tanks and rocket-firing helicopters, Philippine troops launched "precision attacks" Thursday to clear extremists linked to the Islamic State group from a city that has been under siege since a raid that failed to capture one of Asia's most-wanted militants.

    Soldiers fire at enemy positions Thursday while trying to clear the city of Marawi, Philippines, of armed militants.