Man faces 2 counts of murder in Miami homeless deaths

Posted at 7:18 AM, February 7, 2022 and last updated 7:51 PM, July 13, 2023

MIAMI (AP) — Prosecutors filed two murder charges Friday against a 25-year-old real estate agent accused in the deaths of two homeless men in Miami last year.

Willy Maceo was previously charged with attempted murder after his arrest in December, according to court records.

This Dec. 2021 book photo provided by the Miami-Dade County Corrections & Rehabilitation shows murder suspect Willy Maceo. (Miami-Dade County Corrections & Rehabilitation)

Investigators had previously identified Maceo as a suspect in the Dec. 21 death of Jerome Antonio Price, 56, who was fatally shot while sleeping on a sidewalk in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, and the Oct. 16 fatal stabbing of Manuel Perez, 59, in downtown Miami. Maceo is also accused in the non-fatal shooting of a homeless man just a few hours before Price’s death.

Detectives linked Maceo’s Dodge Charger to the Wynwood shooting through surveillance video, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said during a news conference Friday. Investigators tracked down the car and found a Glock 9mm handgun, whose bullets matched casings found at both shooting scenes.

Surveillance video also led detectives to link Maceo to the Perez death. The man in that video shows a man who looks exactly like Maceo, officials said.

Investigators said they also were able to use video evidence and cellphone records to help them trace Maceo’s movements on the nights both men were killed.

Maceo has no criminal record but has a history of mental illness, authorities said.

The Miami Herald last month reported that Maceo had been sent to a hospital for a mental-health evaluation after he was acting erratically at his parents’ home in Kendall. Police officers seized his Glock but later returned it to him after the department’s legal bureau decided he was not enough of a risk for court intervention.