Danger Road chronicles the incredible true story of three drug dealers who were brutally murdered in 1983 on Danger Road in the Florida Everglades. Lured into a phony drug deal each victim hoped would be his big retirement score, they allegedly found themselves at the business end of a gun wielded by a Miami-Dade police officer. But police and prosecutors say Officer Gilbert Fernandez, Jr. and his crew weren’t there to arrest the drug dealers. They were there to execute them and steal their eight kilos of cocaine.
The story details the transformation of Fernandez, a former Mr. Florida bodybuilding champion and black-belt karate instructor, who by many accounts turned his life around during the intervening years between the 1983 murders and his triple-murder indictment in 1990. The man once named “ Miami ’s Meanest Cop” no longer abused and intimidated detainees like he did when he was a police officer; he had become a loving father who lived to convert people to his newfound faith in Christianity. In spite of this radical transformation, Fernandez found himself on trial for his life in 1991. Danger Road is the story of that trial, told by John P. Contini, the Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer who represented him.
Contini gives readers a unique insider perspective on the mindsets of both a defense attorney in a capital murder case and a defendant who had become a completely different person by the time of his trial. Danger Road also reveals details about the influence of the media on the trial, and the biased judge and prosecutors who were hell-bent to send Fernandez to the chair. By ripping the lid off the behind-the-scenes machinations of our legal system, one of the author’s goals was to cause readers to take another look at the way justice is dispensed in our society.