Avielle Janelle Hernandez follows the life of her youngest sister, Henriette. She was one of three children and at the age of eight, her younger sister committed suicide. It was then that her deceased older sister took over. She changed the name of their home from Hernandez to Janelle and made it a place where children felt safe. The home became famous and it was named after the original owner. The name stuck with the entire family because of the work ethic it instilled in their children.
At the age of eighteen, Avielle witnessed her grandmother’s death. It was then that she began to contemplate on what her life was going to be like after her beautiful grandmother had died. She was sixteen years old and had already been through four years of hell before this tragedy. She was in and out of juvenile prison by the time she decided to turn herself into the authorities. After Avielle Janelle Hernandez had been convicted of first-degree murder and second-degree murder, she was given thirty years on top of the sentences.
The court found that Avielle was the person who killed her grandmother by strangling her with the help of an iron rod. Although the iron rod missed her skull, it pierced through her heart. The jury found that she was not responsible for her grandmother’s death. Even though she was only sixteen years old, she was already considered as an adult offender.
As the years passed, we see that Avielle Janelle Hernandez continued to get into trouble. She was arrested for robbery after pulling a gun when she was caught with a stolen purse. Her case was dismissed but, the judge allowed the prosecution to use the knife that belonged to her murder victim to prove that she did in fact stab her deceased victim. This ended up causing the dismissal of the first-degree murder charge. This is how her criminal history started.
According to the transcripts of the witness statements in the Avielle Janelle trial, the trial judge asked the jurors to determine if they would hand down a sentence of life or death. The deliberations went on for two hours and the jurors finally reached a unanimous decision to give the death penalty. The court then declared that Avielle has been found guilty of first-degree murder. The judge then stated that he will have the death penalty imposed on her by the state of Rhode Island.
In a deposition that took place at the request of the state of Rhode Island, Avielle Janelle denied that she harmed Leandra Colon. The court did not accept her answer since the crimes he is charged with is a murder that killed a person. In the deposition, however, she gave similar answers about whether she sold drugs to her teenage daughter, whether she purchased drugs for other people’s use, and whether she helped her daughter meet people who could provide monetary assistance. Her attorney maintained that she is not a hardened criminal and was only trying to help her daughter and family as best she can. He also claimed that there is a substantial connection between Leandra and her mother, as well as the fact that the deceased’s body was found near an address listed in the phone book belonging to Leandra’s mother.
Leandra’s grandmother, Gloria Carter, is an attractive and outgoing woman, known for her large estate. Leandra is described by court documents as an accomplished tax accountant, with a net worth of approximately $1.9 million. The probate court found that Leandra’s late father, Richard, had been a substantial financial contributor to his wife’s household and spent large portions of their late retirement years living in New York City. His attorney, David Goldfeld, maintained that the late father had only recently retired from a highly lucrative job because of a heart attack, a broken hip, and some “minor” back surgery. No medical records are available to confirm this claim.
A close relative of Leandra’s mother, Frank Janelle, confirmed to me that Richard Janelle did in fact live in New York City at the time of his death. The former football player said his grandmother’s home is directly across the street from the restaurant in which his daughter’s friend ate her last meal. Richard was an avid fan of the New York Giants. According to Frank, he was not particularly concerned about Avielle’s drug use, considering that the team had just begun training after the completion of the new season. He said his grandmother was a tough person, but not overly demanding or domineering. I asked Avielle Janelle Hernandez if her late father ever used to come home from work too, and she said that he always worked long hours.