Danger Road: A true crime story – Read Chapter 1 FREE

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John Castellano is not only an accomplished Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney, he is also a published author. John has written books about his real life stories as a defense attorney, giving readers a unique perspective in a criminal law trial, following the case every step of the way from criminal indictment to a closed case.

Danger Road is the true story of three drug dealers who were murdered in the Florida Evergaldes in 1983 and the man who was accused of murdering them, Miami-Dade police officer Gilbert Fernandez, Jr. Fernandez was brought to trial in 1991, Danger Road tells the story of this trial and the man who represented him in court, Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer, John Castellano.

Read the first Chapter of Danger Road: A true crime story of murder and redemption below!

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Danger Road: A true crime story of murder and redemption

By John P Contini

Chapter 1- Brain Cells

April Fools Day 1983 I was in a bar on Fort Lauderdale beach getting
half drunk and hustling some nameless girl. Poor thing, she was as lost as I
was — only neither of us knew it.“Can I have another beer?” I asked the bartender.

“I don’t know, can you?” the smiling bartender replied facetiously.
Sporting a Hawaiian shirt and a tan, this wannabe comic behind the bar
looked like one of the Beach Boys. He provided the perfect visual to blend in
with the fragrance of suntan lotion and the sound of the Jimmy Buffet song
cranking away in the background. Wasting away again in Margaritaville…
He put another bottle of light beer in front of me and asked, “So, do you
live here?”

Not sure if he was asking if I lived in Fort Lauderdale or if he was being
sarcastic about my recent nightly appearances in the bar, I chose to answer
the more straightforward question.

“I just moved down here to stay with my father. I’m waiting for the bar
exam results,” I said while raising my eyebrows to signal my uncertainty
about whether I would ever be a lawyer.

“You keep killing those brain cells and you’ll have nothing left by the
time they make you an attorney,” he quipped, laughing good-naturedly.
“You gonna be a lawyer?” asked my potential score on the next barstool,
sitting up a little straighter.

“Oh, now you’re interested,” I responded, teasing her. I leaned in a little
closer to her, figuring I had nothing to lose. There was that smell again, only
this time the sun tan oil was mixed with cheap perfume and Pine-Sol®.
Just then, the outside lights went off as the lights in the bar blazed on.
Under that kind of wattage, I could see my barstool-mate was no belle of the
ball. But she did a double take, too. I didn’t exactly look like anyone’s Romeo
after a hard day of drinking at the beach.

In that bright light, the streaked bar mirror revealed that my hairless baby
face looked tired, and my brown hair was sand-matted and sticking up all
over the place. And as if that weren’t enough to attract the lonely young
woman, my tanned face had white rings in the shape of my cheap sunglasses.
They made the perfect frame for my tired, bloodshot eyes. I was just the kind
of guy you’d want to take home to mom.

“Last dance, last chance for romance,” crooned the DJ, as the bar-back
did his cleaning thing, with the Pine-Sol®, all around us. “You don’t have to
go home, but you can’t stay here,” the DJ sang. Aside from the weightchallenged
co-ed in the Ohio State T-shirt and the old guy flashing her his
Rolex knock-off, everyone else in the bar emptied onto the sandy and
slippery wooden dance floor.

“Can my future ex-wife and I have one more for the road?” I slurred,
figuring I needed it now more than ever.
“Oh, great,” she complained playfully, “we haven’t even started yet and
I’m already your ex?”

Little did I know that while we were flirting and drinking, three men were
being murdered in Miami. I also was clueless that seven years later I would be
retained to defend the ex-cop accused of being their cold-blooded killer.
The jury was out on whether I had killed too many brain cells that night.
With any luck, I had at least a few left. That bartender was right; I was going
to need them.


About the Author:

John M. Castellano is a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who has helped thousands of clients throughout Florida. While building a reputation as a premiere Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney, Mr. Castellano has worked tirelessly to develop strategies to best protect the rights of those arrested for DUI in Broward, Dade and West Palm. However, Mr. Castellano is not just a drunk driving lawyer. He has been a successful domestic violence attorney, drug trafficking attorney, as well as all other Felony and Misdemeanor cases.

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