The store is soon surrounded by police, and a slaughter follows in which six people die, including a child killed by a ricochet from a cop's sniper rifle.
Snared in a police cordon, the holdup men surrender. Neither one has been wounded. They demand to speak to attorneys.
Everyone agrees the two Cuban killers are riding greased skids straight to the gas chamber.
Or so it seems.
Suffice it to say that Ramon concocts an outrageous defense based on his religion and that the verdict makes headlines.
As for himself, Abella says that Santeria proved to be a terrific dramatic theme that required him to become a student of the religion's practices.
"I've been to a few rites and I know a few people," he says. "I can't say that I'm a believer--I'm not. But I'm extremely interested in it. . . . There is something there."