Lake County jury finds man guilty of second-degree murder in 2017 machete attack

TAVARES – A jury has found Carlos Reyes guilty of second-degree murder for hacking his Leesburg neighbor to death with a machete on June 29, 2017.

“It was the medical examiner’s testimony and his interview,” Assistant State Attorney Cherish Adams said on Friday, the day after the six-member jury rendered its verdict.

The “interview” consisted of his statements to authorities claiming a stand-your-ground defense. “He said he did it, but it was in self-defense.”

Earlier coverage: Trial begins for man accused of killing neighbor with machete

Prosecutors' decision: Suspect in machete attack won't face death penalty

The medical examiner’s testimony was devastating because the injuries were so gruesome.

“The victim had been struck with the machete 17-18 times, causing skull fractures, removing his eye, and nearly severing his left hand,” according to court documents.

Here is what happened on June 29, 2017

Reyes, who was 35 at the time, walked up to Gary Mosley’s screened-in porch at 1 a.m. on June 29, 2017, identifying himself as “John” and tried to enter the area where Mosley and Franklin Wright were playing cards. Mosley told him to get off his Georgia Avenue property or he would call police, but he walked up and opened the porch door.

Carlos Reyes in court.
Carlos Reyes in court.

Wright, 63, who was disabled with a stroke, said he sprayed Reyes with pepper spray. Mosley began fighting the man and the battle moved onto the front lawn. Wright ran into the house to get help.

When he came back, he heard Mosley shout, “Call the police, he’s killing me. He has a machete.”

Taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, doctors gave him 50 units of blood.

One doctor said, “Two of the injuries were so severe he could the victim’s brain. His left forearm was attached by only a few tendons.

Mosley died on July 1, 2017.

Circuit Judge G. Richard Singeltary rejected Reyes’ claim of self-defense, setting the stage for the trial, which began on March 14.

Sentencing for Carlos Reyes is still pending

The judge ordered a presentence investigation, which takes about 30 days. He was convicted on the charge of second-degree murder with a weapon without premeditation. He ordered Reyes to be held without bail.

Reyes could face up to life in prison.

Assistant Public Defender Wanda Greene could not be reached for comment.

This article originally appeared on Daily Commercial: Man could face life in prison after guilty verdict in murder case