Four South Florida Men Charged in Brutal Murder

Alexis Vila Perdomo is a Cuban born two-time World Champion wrestler and 1996 Olympic bronze medal winner who defected to the United States via Puerto Rico in 1997.

Perdomo and Manuel Marin were friends from their days living in Cuba and Marin assisted his friend with coming to the mainland, gave him a job and helped him open a wrestling studio. He later went on to coach wrestling at Michigan State University. Based on an arrest warrant which implicates the two men and others with conspiracy to commit murder and other charges, Perdomo considered Marin to be his mentor.

At the time the alleged murder took place; Perdomo was featured as a mixed martial arts fighter (MMA), performing on the Florida regional circuit and then the Bellator circuit as well as with other MMA organizations. He previously served a three-year sentence after authorities mistakenly believed his actions to be attempted terrorism when he accidentally crashed his car into an area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. He was ultimately charged and pleaded guilty to the felony of airport violence. Prior to his conviction his primary defense was that he suffering clinical depression at the time of the incident.

As an MMA fighter performing under the moniker of “The Exorcist”, Perdomo amassed a respectable 15-7 record. Competing in the Bellator bantamweight tournament in 2011, he notably knocked out top-notch fighter Joe Warren and defeated Marcos Galvao in a decision before losing to Eduardo Dantas in the final. Most recently, in 2016, he notched a win in a Titan Fighting Championship bout in Pompano Beach.

Last week a Miami-Dade Circuit Judge decided to hold him without bail until trial, after the State Attorney’s Office made their case fearing his likelihood of being a flight risk was high. Authorities said Vila Perdomo assisted plotting a brutal murder with two other men in addition to his mentor who is the principal suspect.

Perdomo has been formally charged with Second Degree Murder and is currently being held at the Turner Guildford Knight Correctional Center in Miami.

Others named in the criminal complaint are Ariel Gandulla, a former MMA fighter; fight trainer/promoter Roberto Isaac, and Manuel Marin, as previously stated; the prime suspect in this case.

Marin who has been recognized with establishing one of the fastest-growing Hispanic grocery store chains in the country (Presidente Supermarkets) is the main suspect in the murder of Camilo Salazar, a man who his wife was allegedly having an affair with.

The brutal homicide took place in 2011 when Salazar’s body was found on a road near the Everglades in Northwest Miami-Dade along a dirt road east of Okeechobee Road. He had been bound and beaten, his throat slit, with his groin set on fire and badly burned. The medical examiner also later found that he suffered numerous blunt force injuries prior to his death. A brush fire just west of the scene is what alerted police to the area.

All five of the men were connected by a seemingly frantic salvo of phone calls that occurred among them at and around the time and date the alleged murder was committed. The investigation has been going on for years and both Marin and Gandulla apparently felt the walls closing in.

Marin is currently not in the United States, and was charged in absentia with conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping, as well as murder and kidnapping separately when charges were unsealed by prosecutors in mid-April. One of his employees told police that he drove his boss to the airport where he boarded a flight for France. However, authorities originally believed that he may have been hiding in Spain; based on a short International phone call he made to his wife.

Last week (May 21) during a court appearance for one of his co-defendants prosecutors told the judge that they believe that Manuel is being funded as a fugitive by his son Yaddiel. His son owns fast food restaurants and is a partner in the Pincho Factory restaurant chain as well as The Spot barbershop and the PokéBao restaurant in Coral Gables.

At that hearing a judge agreed to keep Robert Isaac incarcerated after the prosecution said they feared that Marin‘s son could attempt to buy his silence and help him escape to Cuba. The younger Marin lives in a multimillion dollar mansion in Miami Beach.

The prosecution believes that after Marin fled to Spain he then flew to Cuba where his son arranged to have his other children, and their mother, visit their father at a Cuban resort. The United States does not have an extradition treaty with the Island nation.

Gandulla is also believed to have fled the country and is believed to be hiding in Canada, while Isaac and Vila Perdomo have pleaded not guilty.

Michael B. Cohen, Esq. is a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney whose expertise in homicide cases is extensive. As a former Assistant State Attorney for Broward County, and an Assistant United States Attorney for the government, Mr. Cohen clients receive the best sought possible outcome refuting any charges alleged by the State of Florida or the Federal Government. Working for the prosecution prior to founding his criminal defense practice in the private sector has given him a superior advantage that will result beneficially for those who seek his help. If you, a family member or close friend is charged with any type of homicide, call Mr. Cohen at the earliest possible time for a free case evaluation.

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