The Baldomero Fernandez-Jimmy Escoto murder case will be featured in Investigation Discovery’s crime documentary Fear Thy Neighbor: Episode “Home Is Where The Hearse Is.”
The documentary will examine the case of two neighbors living in a Cuban neighborhood in Miami during the 1980’s that clashed after a feud erupts between the older more respected neighbor and the younger more belligerent neighbor. As time passes and tempers flare, and one neighbor will end up dead—the other will do little time is prison.
The documentary was inspired by the case of vigilante citizen Baldomero Fernandez, a 62-year-old resident of Miami who shot and killed his neighbor, 30-year-old Jimmy Escoto, aka James Escoto. According to court documents, in October 1986, James ‘Jimmy’ Escoto constantly belittled and insulted his neighbor, Baldomero Fernandez. After complaining to the police for years, Baldomero decided to take the law into his own hands by killing his annoying neighbor.
Police say on that fateful day in Miami, Jimmy Escoto began shouting obscenities at volunteer school worker Baldomero Fernandez, but the situation escalated to murder once Escoto assaulted Fernandez with a bycicle chain. That’s when police say Fernandez chased the victim and shot him until his gun was empty. Once the old man was out of bullets, he proceeded to beat Escoto in the head with a cement cinder block, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Baldomero Manuel Fernandez, who was considered a church activist and a respected member of the community, had the support of his neighbors, friends, and even Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez during his arrest and trial. Members of the Cuban community say that Fernandez had been continuously provoked by the troublesome neighbor, and that they would have done the same thing to protect their land and family.
Baldomero, whose name has been listed in news accounts as Baldoremo and Baldorema, was eventually convicted in the vigilante killing of his neighbor, James Escoto, and was released from prison a little more than three years later. He died some time after his release.
Fear Thy Neighbor: Episode “Home Is Where The Hearse Is” is currently airing this month on Investigation Discovery.