tampabay.com

Judge rejects condemned man's appeal

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published December 2, 2006


MIAMI - A circuit judge on Friday denied a request by a death row inmate set for execution Dec. 13 to reconsider testimony by a key witness who later recanted.

Judge Amy Steel Donner also declined to issue a stay of execution for Angel Diaz, said Suzanne Myers Keffer, his attorney.

Diaz is to be executed for the fatal shooting of a Miami topless club manager in 1979. A fellow inmate in the Miami-Dade County Jail, Ralph Gajus, testified at a 1984 trial that Diaz, who spoke broken English, used hand signs to imply he was the triggerman when he and another man robbed the club.

The Florida Supreme Court voted 5-2 Wednesday to send the case back to the trial court to consider a recently obtained sworn statement from Gajus saying he lied on the witness stand.

Diaz has until Monday to appeal the trial court's ruling.