Seeing Things

Manuel Duasso has achieved a semblance of normality in the decade since he was blinded. The same can't be said of his assailant.

He retreated from his Christian contacts and grew increasingly depressed. "For six months I was sinking deeper and deeper, until I found myself with a drug habit," he says.

In November he was arrested for car theft, but the State Attorney's Office declined to prosecute.

One evening a few months ago, Lamigueiro found himself in his room going into convulsions; over the past six hours he'd consumed seven grams of cocaine. "I was subconsciously trying to take my own life, but I didn't die," he says. "I called out to God. I confessed my sins. The next day I began to tell all my friends, 'God is going to deliver me from this drug habit.'" Through his girlfriend, he learned about the Christian Center of Hope, the program he entered and subsequently abandoned.

Three and a half weeks ago, Lamigueiro was arrested in Miami Beach and charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault. According to the police report, Lamigueiro and an armed accomplice tried to steal a gold chain from a man. Encountering resistance, Lamigueiro allegedly broke a beer bottle over the man's head. His accomplice escaped, but witnesses managed to subdue Lamigueiro until the police arrived. He is now in jail awaiting an October 2 trial date.

Back in 1988, while still in prison, Lamigueiro mailed Duasso a brief letter. "It has been three years and a few months now," the last paragraph began. "I was sixteen years old then and without the supervision of a responsible person. I neglected my parents and what they stood for, and for that, I ran away from my house.... I'm quite sure that it is late for apologies, but I have to try; my conscience has haunted me enough. I pray that some day the Lord will make room in your heart for forgiveness. From a human point of view I see the absurdity of even such a thought, but I believe in a powerful God."

When the letter arrived, Ciri read it aloud to Duasso once, then put it away with other papers and photographs from the past.

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