Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition

Man admits to fatal stabbing

- By Rafael Olmeda Staff writer rolmeda@sunsentine­l.com or 954-356-4457

“We just didn’t want it to be five years or something too short.”

The defendant and his family asked for mercy — five years, maybe fewer.

The prosecutor and the victim’s family asked for the max — 30 years behind bars.

Broward Circuit Judge Raag Singhal split the difference Friday, sentencing Dylan Cimera, 22, to 17 years in prison for manslaught­er in the death of Tobias Kelly, a drug dealer Cimera admitted to stabbing in Fort Lauderdale in 2012.

Cimera was 18 at the time of the stabbing, and defense lawyer David Frankel urged the judge to consider Cimera’s youth and the fact that the victim, 35 at the time of the slaying, was someone who “peddled death” and knew he was involved in a dangerous and illegal business.

Prosecutor Gina Hawkins said Kelly deserved to be respected as a victim rather than an accomplice to his own death. “A willing participan­t in his death because he sold drugs? Absurd,” Hawkins said. —Kelly Faye,

Cimera arranged to meet with Kelly early on Feb. 11, 2012, telling friends he intended to rob the crack dealer and warning that it would get ugly, according to trial testimony. A fatal encounter did ensue, and Kelly was stabbed to death. Kelly still had $1,000 in his pocket and no drugs in his car when he died.

Cimera claimed he backed out of the robbery plan and was stunned when he got into Kelly’s car and Kelly began attacking him. Cimera said he used his knife in selfdefens­e.

Singhal heard the case without a jury and issued his verdict in January. Sentencing was delayed after the prosecutor who handled the case, Alberto Ribas, was appointed to a judgeship.

Singhal said he wanted to impose a severe sentence while still giving Cimera a shot at rehabilita­tion. Four relatives of Kelly said they were satisfied with the judge’s sentence, even though it was not as long as they had hoped.

“We just didn’t want it to be five years or something too short,” said the victim’s sister, Kelly Fye.

His cousin, Jannay Harliss, applauded the judge’s decision. “We’re just happy that justice is served,” she said.

Cimera will get credit for more than 36 months of time served.

His prison term will be followed by three years of probation.

“The judge listened to the case as intently as I’ve ever seen anyone listen and he gave the sentence he thought was right,” said Frankel, the defense lawyer. “You can’t ask for more than that.”

Cimera’s family members declined to comment.

 ?? CARLINE JEAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPH­ER ?? A newly released monarch butterfly feeds from a golden dewdrop flower at Sugar Sand Park Children’s Science Explorium butterfly garden. Several species of butterflie­s are released daily from the explorium’s hatchery. For informatio­n, call 561-347-3906.
CARLINE JEAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPH­ER A newly released monarch butterfly feeds from a golden dewdrop flower at Sugar Sand Park Children’s Science Explorium butterfly garden. Several species of butterflie­s are released daily from the explorium’s hatchery. For informatio­n, call 561-347-3906.

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