Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Sunday, September 10, 2017


            Let us remember Alex Zaldivar on August 26 and September 10 every year. Do support his family by donating or supporting the website (see the Facebook Page also).


Alex H. Zaldivar
(August 26, 1993 to September 10, 2012)

On September 10th 2012, Alex Zaldivar (19) was not murdered, but executed in a home he was temporarily staying at in Ocoee, FL. He was a witness listed to testify in court, which was set to take place the very next day for a previous home invasion in May earlier this year. Nolan Darnell Bernard and Bessman Charles Obinna Okafor led the first attack, both convicted felons with lengthy violent criminal histories involving deadly firearms. Orange County Circuit Judge Bob LeBlanc let one (Okafor) of the 2 highly dangerous criminals go on a small bond with a cheap Radio Frequency Monitor. The other, Bernard, has been in the Orange County Jail since May. Court records indicate Okafor left his Pine Hills home at 4:40 a.m. Monday and returned at 5:20 a.m. The deadly shooting in Ocoee occurred around 5:15 a.m., according to police. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Okafor has been a criminal since he was 16 years old. He is now 27, with over 17 different criminal charges, nearly all of them involving burglaries and other dangerous crimes involving deadly firearms. He also was arrested in 2006 for violating his probation; he already has shown that he cannot be trusted with any sort of freedom. These are just the crimes that he didn't get away with. How could Judge Bob LeBlanc let such a violent criminal with a record like this go with a soft slap on the wrist? None of this would have happened if Okafor were still in prison where he clearly belongs. Justice needs and will be served to Alex. Any form of donation would be tremendously appreciated in this terrible time of tragedy and misfortune. All donations will be used to help pay for funeral expenses and to help the fight against changing the laws so nobody has to ever experience a tragedy like this. We will not stop fighting until we get justice for Alex. Thank you so much.


Rafael Zaldivar, left, holds a picture of his son. (Photo by Monivette Cordeiro)

Rafael Zaldivar stands up for the victims:

QUOTE 1: Law enforcement officials and some victims' families, though, are outraged by Ayala's decision, including Rafael Zaldivar. His son Alex Zaldivar, 19, was fatally shot in 2012 before he and his roommates were set to testify about a robbery at their Ocoee home. Bessman Okafor was convicted of Alex Zaldivar's murder in 2015 and sentenced to death. Okafor's case is currently before the Florida Supreme Court because his sentence was not decided by a unanimous jury.

The Sunshine State's death penalty sentencing scheme was on unstable ground after the U.S. Supreme Court found the sentencing law unconstitutional because it allowed judges to have the ultimate decision instead of a jury. Florida lawmakers fixed the process by requiring a 10-2 vote jury vote for the death penalty, which was struck down by the state Supreme Court. The governor recently signed into law a requirement that juries be unanimous when recommending the death penalty.

Rafael Zaldivar says he doesn't trust Ayala with his son's case and is asking for a special prosecutor.

"I have no confidence," he says. "She should resign, and somebody else should take her place right now."

QUOTE 2: Rafael Zaldivar, whose son was murdered in Orlando in 2012, said Ayala's decision is part of a political agenda and has no place in the state attorney's office. He demanded her resignation.

"She is an activist. She isn't a prosecutor. She has an agenda," said Zaldivar, whose son's killer was sentenced to death in 2015.

QUOTE 3: Rafael Zaldivar showed up at the news conference to question the group's motives.

"I'm here to tell them, it's really none of their business," said Zaldivar.

He's been speaking out in favor of the death penalty since his son Alex was brutally murdred. Zaldivar says the death penalty is only for the worst of crimes.

"It's the ultimate punishment for heinous crimes, that's all it is," said Zaldivar.


Alex Hiroki Zaldivar
(August 26, 1993 to September 10, 2012)

Father of murdered son wants Aramis Ayala thrown out of office before attacker’s second death sentence hearing

In 2012, 19 year old Alex Zaldivar was murdered by Bessman Okafor just one day before he was scheduled to testify against him in a home invasion case. Since then his father, Rafael Zaldivar, has fought for justice for his son and has served as a victim’s advocate to help other families through the tragedy of losing a loved one.

Now as the Central Florida stands divided over the decision of Orange Osceola County Attorney Aramis Ayala in her decision not to seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd in the alleged murder of OPD Lieutnenant Debra Clayon and his former girlfriend Sade Dixon, who was pregnant at the time of her death, Zaldivar is standing with the families of other victims who seek justice from the Ayala’s office.

A recent change in the requirements to carry out the death penalty also means his son’s case will be returned to Ayala.

Zaldivar recently interviewed with OPO Publisher Doug Kaplan to discuss what he believes is going on in the state attorney’s office and what he believes should be done.

“It did not surprise me because I expected that from her and where she stands politically.” begins Zaldivar ”
He describes his son as a kind, generous, young man, who spoke three languages, had many friends and even more potential to do good. The morning of his death his parents tried to reach him following some car trouble

“It took us 19 years to raise him. We lost him in a second. Two bullets to the back of the head.” Zaldivar adds “Aramis Ayala has thrown a monkey wrench in my personal agenda. Hugs for thugs. She doesn’t need to be in there. Period. Her job is to prosecute not legislate”

Zaldivar also denies points made by Ayala’s supporters that the process behind seeking the death penalty is tougher on families and believes their is a misproper use of office resources and manpower currently taking place at the state attorney’s offices.

It’s because of all of these things, he believes Ayala should be removed from her position.

“I think at this point yes, because she’s lost all credibility in that office. Right now that office is a complete disaster” Zaldivar adds “I don’t trust her with my son’s case. She would throw it out the window.”

Ultimately, he wants justice that will allow Alex’s family to move on with their lives and hopes to start a new business.

“I want this to end. Whatever it takes. We’re going to bring him back. I don’t want her near the case.” Zaldivar says in closing “It’s very difficult. It’s very hard.”

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