final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Dennis D. Bailey, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Jeffrey L. Anderson,
Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Lindsay A. Warner,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
Jacqueline Luongo was charged with first-degree murder for
the death of Patricia Viveiros. While in jail awaiting trial,
Appellant was also charged with tampering with a witness and
solicitation to murder that witness. These charges were
joined for trial and Appellant was found guilty as charged on
all three counts. Appellant now raises seven issues on
appeal. We write only to address Appellant's argument
that the trial court erred in joining the charges and in
denying Appellant's motion to sever the murder charge
from the tampering and solicitation charges. On that argument
and all others raised, we affirm.
conducting a welfare check on Viveiros at her apartment, the
police discovered her body in a zipped garment bag inside the
bedroom closet. Viveiros had been handcuffed. There was white
duct tape covering her entire face and a plastic bag over her
head. The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was
asphyxiation caused by the tape covering the victim's
mouth and nose. There were no signs of forced entry into the
apartment or of a struggle inside the apartment.
The testimony of Maria Calderon
to the trial testimony of Appellant's former live-in
girlfriend, Maria Calderon, nine days before police found
Viveiros's body, Calderon and Appellant met at a bar.
During their conversation, Appellant told Calderon that she
was living with Viveiros, but that Viveiros was recently
arrested and in jail. Appellant then asked Calderon if she
was interested in helping her kill Viveiros because Viveiros
had money. Calderon told Appellant that she was not
interested. Appellant then mentioned to Calderon that
Calderon could disguise herself as Viveiros so that they
could forge Viveiros's checks.
days later, Appellant admitted to Calderon that Viveiros was
not in jail but was actually dead and that her body was in
Viveiros's closet. When Calderon asked how Viveiros died,
Appellant stated that she came home and found a "big
Spanish guy" choking Viveiros. Appellant stated that
this man hit her, forced her to duct tape Viveiros, and took
pictures of her while doing so. Appellant stated that she
believed this man was likely a hitman sent to kill Viveiros
to prevent her from testifying in an unrelated case.
Following this conversation, while Appellant was out getting
ice, Calderon left because she wanted "nothing to do
days later, Appellant and Calderon met again at a hotel.
Appellant told Calderon that she had been forging
Viveiros's checks and that she planned to leave the
country. Calderon testified that she began to get suspicious
that Appellant was trying to frame her for the murder when
she realized that she had likely left her fingerprints in
Viveiros's apartment during two overnight stays. Later
that night, when Appellant was asleep, Calderon left the room
and flagged down a police officer to tell him about
Appellant's confession to her. Appellant was taken into
custody and once the body was found, charged with
The testimony of Nicole Okrezik and Detective Munson
in jail, Appellant met Nicole Okrezik. At trial, Okrezik
testified that Appellant admitted to her that she murdered
Viveiros. Appellant told Okrezik that Viveiros was upset
because Appellant had gone out with Calderon and did not
return until the following morning. While arguing, Appellant
attempted to quiet Viveiros by putting tape over her mouth.
When Viveiros tried to pull the tape off, Appellant
handcuffed her, placed duct tape around her entire face, and
covered her head with a ...