On behalf of the Office of the State Attorney I wish to thank everyone who has expressed their condolences on the unexpected passing of Chief Assistant State Attorney Manny Madruga. Our wish is that we honor his memory by acknowledging his great accomplishments. Manny was a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law. He was first hired by State Attorney Kirk Zuelch in 1990 straight out of Law School. While at the State Attorney Office Manny distinguished himself by prosecuting some of the most significant cases in Monroe County. He successfully prosecuted the murder of a child in the Christopher Bennet case. He appeared on television in the successful prosecution of a murder in the Jeffrey Wade Wallace case. He prosecuted the murder of Janet Acosta, a Miami Herald employee who was abducted, raped and strangled by Michael Tanzi. Tanzi received the death penalty and is currently awaiting execution. There were scores of other murder and sexual battery cases that Manny successfully prosecuted.
In addition to his successes at trial Manny received the Gene Berry Award in 2009, which is the equivalent of the prosecutor of the year throughout Florida. He was a graduate of the Key West Ambassador program, graduate of Leadership Monroe, President of Leadership Monroe 2011-2012, an Unsung Hero Volunteer recipient for 2012, a member of the Masons and a Rotarian. He was an instructor with the Gerald T. Bennet Prosecutors/Public Defenders Program at the University of Florida School of Law. Manny was on several boards, including Marc House and the Boys & Girls Club. Manny has one daughter, Natalie who he loved more than anything.
The community has lost one of the finest citizens ever to have lived here in Monroe County. I beseech you in his memory to be kind to one another and remember him for the life he lived.
Longtime prosecutor and the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office second-in-command was found dead Thursday. Madruga was found in his Key West home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.