Felony charges dismissed for former Miss Miami Lakes

MIAMI (WSVN) - Two months after a former South Florida beauty queen was charged for some ugly behavior, she received some good news in court.

During a brief court appearance, Friday morning, former Miss Miami Lakes Vanessa Barcelo learned that felony charges against her had been dropped.

She is now charged with one count of misdemeanor battery in the first degree.

The felony charges stem from an incident that occurred in December, when the 26-year-old hosted a party at her Hialeah residence to promote her baking business.

According to the arrest report obtained from Hialeah Police, as the night wore on, Barcelo and several guests became intoxicated.

Then, at some point, the atmosphere got heated between her and the victim, 34-year-old David Duperon.

That’s when Barcelo allegedly pushed and swung at Duperon with an aluminum baseball bat, before another man punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground.

She was arrested that night by Hialeah Police and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery and simple battery. Her bond was set at $16,500.

Duperon later testified in court and said his injuries were so severe that he required surgery in his eye.

However, she explained, that things escalated when she asked Duperon to leave the party, and she was only defending herself. “I would never do something like that,” she said. “I just had to defend myself. I had to protect myself and my family members, and I’m ready to show everybody who I really am since everybody has this picture of me.”

Her lawyer Jim Demiles called Friday’s dismissal of felony charges a small victory. “Because it shows that David’s [the alleged victim] allegations that she swung a baseball bat at him were hogwash,” he explained.

“We anticipate going to trial in this matter because we’re not going to plea to something that never happened.”

Once an arraignment date is set for the misdemeanor charge, Barcelo and her lawyer will enter a plea of not guilty.

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