January 10, 2018

PLANTATION KEY — Jeremy Macauley, a 34-year-old Key Largo man convicted of the 2015 execution-style double murders of Carlos Ortiz, 30 and Tara Rosado, 26, inside their Tavernier home has filed a notice to appeal with the 3rd District Court of Appeals.

Macauley waived his right to appear in front of Circuit Court Judge Luis Garcia last week for a status check on additional drug-trafficking charges he still faces.

He was sentenced last month to serve two consecutive life sentences plus 30 years for the two murders and a robbery with a firearm charge after a 12-member jury found him guilty in November.

The status conference took place in Garcia’s chambers with the West Palm Beach prosecutor’s office by phone and Macauley’s defense lawyer, Ed O’Donnell.

O’Donnell confirmed that Macauley will be represented by a public defender for the appeal, though O’Donnell will be available to provide additional assistance.

He also confirmed that he will be defending Macauley against the drug charges when that case comes forward.

The Monroe County Public Defender’s Office would not confirm if they’ll be defending Macauley and declined to comment.

Macauley was found guilty of shooting Ortiz and Rosado after Ortiz made several attempts to extort more money and drugs from Macauley by threatening to tell police of their drug-trafficking scheme.

The trafficking scheme began after Macauley found a large quantity of cocaine at sea in the summer of 2015 while mating aboard the Sea Horse. He enlisted the help of Ortiz and others to distribute the drug.

Prosecutors say Macauley killed Rosado for being a witness to his shooting of Ortiz. Her three young children were in the house during the shooting. They were found unharmed the following day by a neighbor.

When Garcia asked Macauley during sentencing if he’d like to address the court after the victims’ impact statements were read, he said he didn’t get a fair defense because witnesses failed to show up at the courthouse to testify on his behalf because they felt their lives were threatened.

He offered no apologies to Rosado’s family who attended the trial in its entirety to show support for her.

Macauley is also being charged for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon with the drug trafficking charges. He’s due in court for a pretrial conference for those charges on March 6.

tjava@keysnews.com