Five jail inmates beat up notorious accused child killer Jorge Barahona at the Miami-Dade jail because “of the nature of his pending charges,” according to a newly released police report.
The men have all been charged with battery by a detainee for the March 1 attack at the county jail, also known as the Pre-Trial Detention Center.
Barahona, 53, was attacked as he slept and suffered multiple bruises on his face, a nosebleed and a small cut on his nose, according to the Miami-Dade police report.
Nubia Barahona was found dead at the age of 10 on Valentine’s Day 2011, her decomposing body swimming in chemicals and stuffed in a garbage bag in the flatbed of her adoptive father’s pest control truck in Palm Beach County. Her brother Victor was in the cab of the truck with Jorge Barahona, alive but unconscious, with chemical burns on his body. Victor later told police that he and his sister had been routinely and repeatedly abused — beaten, tied up, screamed at — by the Barahonas. He said he heard his adoptive parents beating his twin to death as he lay tied up in a bathtub at the family home in West Miami-Dade. Later, Nubia would be loaded into the back of the truck, with Jorge and Victor riding in the front.
Barahona is accused or murdering 10-year-old Nubia in February 2011, after months of torturing her and her twin brother inside the family’s Westchester house. Police found Nubia’s chemical-soaked body in the back of Barahona’s pickup truck along Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County.
The high-profile case rocked Florida’s child welfare agency, which allowed the adoption of the twins and then overlooked repeated allegations of abuse. His former wife, Carmen Barahona, accepted a life prison sentence and will testify against him.
After years of delays, Barahona’s trial was scheduled to start in April 2020, but was postponed when the COVID-19 crisis shuttered Miami-Dade’s criminal courthouse. The trial has yet to be rescheduled. Barahona was granted a new defense attorney after it was revealed his previous lawyer is under investigation over discrepancies with his legal billing.
Barahona faces the death penalty if convicted at trial.
The five inmates charged with attacking him are: Armando Verdecia, 21, Hakeem Drane, 24, Klauss Moise, 20, Devaun Spaulding, 27 and Oscar Martinez, 29.
The attack was not captured on surveillance video because the inmates tampered with the camera, according to the police report by Miami-Dade Detective Cheick Kaba.
David Ovalle covers crime and courts in Miami. A native of San Diego, he graduated from the University of Southern California and joined the Herald in 2002 as a sports reporter.