Photo: Man Convicted of Killing Carlos Acosta Gets Retrial After Court Stenographer Loses Transcript
The family of Carlos Acosta, who was killed in September 2005, will have to suffer through another trial despite a man being convicted of the murder in 2009, all because of a computer virus.
In 2009, a Miami court convicted 26-year-old Randy Chaviano of killing Carlos Acosta following a drug sale gone awry.
It was determined that Acosta had gone to Chaviano’s home to buy drugs and that an argument erupted and Chaviano shot and killed Acosta, planting a gun on Acosta to make it appear that Acosta was the one who was armed.
A juror found Chaviano guilty of second-degree murder with a weapon and or armed drug dealing. He was sentenced to life in prison, though that may all change.
Court stenographer Terlesa Cowart had allegedly been documenting the case using an internal disc in her stenography machine to save it on her computer after her machine ran out of paper.
Following the trial she transferred the data from the stenography machine’s internal disc to her computer and erased it from the internal drive. Unfortunately, a virus invaded her computer and all files and notes were wiped clean.
Now, since the transcript has been lost, Cowart has been fired by Goldman Naccarato Patterson Vela & Associates, a retrial is expected, and a “un-convicted” murderer may go free.
Chaviano’s attorney said he’s looking forward to a second chance, telling the Miami Herald, ‘I think I can win it this time. It was an injustice.’