(WSVN) - A case of alleged infidelity left a man with horrible burns from scalding tea, but it’s now emotions that are boiling over in a Miami-Dade courtroom. Karen Hensel has tonight’s special report: “Scarred for Life.”
Andy Polo: “I don’t want to be here today!”
This scathing confrontation in court last week…
Andy Polo: “You can’t even look at me in the face.”
…was the culmination of nearly three years of physical and emotional suffering for burn victim Andy Polo.
Andy Polo: “See, she’s not remorseful at all on this whole deal.”
“She” is Yvonne Vega, Andy’s ex-girlfriend.
And the ordeal that ended in this highly charged hearing started back on May 3, 2020.
Andy Polo’s 911 call: “I’m just burned, and my skin is falling off.”
Andy Polo first shared his survival story with us two years ago, in March 2021.
Andy Polo: “I hate that day. I’m sorry.”
He said Yvonne threw scalding tea on him while he was napping, naked.
Andy Polo, March 2021: “I woke up to her throwing boiling hot water on me from across the bed. She used some obscenities and said ‘Who the F is this for?’ and she had a Victoria’s Secret gift card and a receipt in her hand.”
He suffered second- and third-degree burns.
Andy Polo, March 2021: “The next thing I know, the whole panel of my back, all my skin came off and fell on the ground, and then I ran for my life.”
Andy spent a month in Jackson’s Ryder Trauma Burn Unit.
Yvonne was charged with felony battery.
The police report said Yvonne confronted Andy about what she called his “infidelity” and talked of “intentionally throwing the hot tea on the victim, in self-defense.”
But when questioned further, she admitted he had never harmed her.
Detectives wrote, “The investigation revealed…” the burn was done “…intentionally not accidentally…” and it appeared “…she had intentionally targeted his genitals.”
Karen Hensel, March 2021: “Why did you want to talk with us?”
Andy Polo: “Because it brings awareness that this can happen to anybody and everybody.”
Andy Polo says the scars on his body are his prison, and he has been adamant Yvonne Vega get her prison time, too.
Andy Polo, court hearing October 2022: “She’s had 892 days of freedom. I’ve had 892 days of hell.”
After Andy’s emotional plea to the judge, prosecutors withdrew a plea offer that would have required Yvonne pay restitution but not serve prison time.
Andy Polo, court hearing October 2022: “Put her in prison. That’s what I’m asking you. That’s where she needs to go. Her freedom needs to be taken just like mine has. Keep the money. I don’t need it.”
Back in court, last week, it was finally decision day for Yvonne.
The choice: take a revamped plea offer of two and a half years in prison plus 10 years probation or face up to 15 years if convicted by a jury.
Yvonne Vega: “I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this. I’d rather go to trial.”
Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Ellen Venzer: “You do?”
Vega: “Yes, this is not fair.”
Judge venzer: “Have you had an opportunity to review these pictures with your client?”
But after again looking at pictures of Andy’s injuries…
Judge Venzer: “What do you wish to do, ma’am?”
Vega: “I’m gonna take the plea.”
Last Friday, Yvonne turned herself in, and Andy got his final say.
Andy Polo: “If she would have came to that trauma unit that night and looked at me, and goes, ‘You know what? I messed up,’ she would have never went to prison. Never, never. I would have never thought that way in my life. That woman was my life.”
Yvonne was led away to begin serving her prison sentence.
Karen: “Do you feel like you got justice?”
Andy Polo: “No, not really.”
Karen: “What would have brought you justice?”
Andy Polo: “Never happening … that day never happened.”
Karen Hensel, 7News.
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