Perez faces murder retrial

| 24/05/2011

(CNS): The man who was acquitted in July last year for the killing of Martin Gareau faced trial for the same crime again Monday, three years after the Canadian’s beaten body was found in his Beach Bay home. Josue Carillo Perez was found not guilty of the crime in a judge alone trial. However, the decision was overturned by the Cayman Islands Appeal Court based on the judgement delivered by Justice Anderson. As a result Perez found himself in the dock for the second time charged with murder. Opening for the crown, prosecuting counsel Trevor Ward presented the same case against the Honduran national based on the discovery of two finger prints on the door frame at the murder scene.

Perez has persistently denied the murder and stated that he had been to Gareau’s home only a few weeks before to attend a BBQ, which would explain the presence of his prints which he had given to the police voluntarily before becoming a suspect.

Ward, in his opening address to the judge, emphasised that forensic experts suggest the prints were made in the victim’s blood when it was still wet, placing Perez at the scene at the time of the killing. He said that this print evidence, coupled with other circumstantial evidence, would allow the judge to draw the reasonable inference that Perez was the murderer. 

Gareau’s body was discovered early in the morning of Tuesday 20 May 2008 by his cousins when he had failed to show up for work after the holiday weekend. Gareau was last known to be alive on the previous Sunday lunchtime when he had spoken with one of the cousins on the phone about attending a family event that evening. However, Gareau did not turn up to the party and was never spoken to or seen alive again.

The pathologist had confirmed that Gareau had been killed sometime between 24-72 hours before his body was found, fitting in with the crown’s theory that Perez killed him sometime Sunday afternoon. Gareau had suffered multiple traumas from both blunt and sharp instruments and he had been beaten over the head, which experts said was the cause of death.

Meanwhile, in another ongoing murder trial, the crown’s case against 18-year-old Jordon Manderson for the murder of Ecuadorian national Marcus Duran went into its second week. The crown presented telecommunications evidence that it says places Manderson in the area at the time of the fatal shooting and ties him to Razail Jeffers, who the crown says was the mastermind behind the robbery gone wrong, as well as Craig Johnson, who it believes picked-up Manderson, who was shot in the leg, from the crime scene.

Various witness evidence was also read to the court by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Richards, having being agreed by the defence. This included statements from people who knew Duran, police testimony and expert witnesses. The report by the pathologist revealed that Duran had received three gunshot wounds. The fatal bullet had gone straight through his head and fragments were recovered at the scene. The second was through the eye and the bullet was removed by the pathologist, and the third was through the victim’s hand.

The crown will be presenting DNA evidence as well as calling police witnesses that were involved in the interviews when Manderson was arrested and the senior investigating officers as the trial continues this week. The defence is expected to answer before the end of this week. The trial continues in court 5 Tuesday morning as a result of video evidence being presented by the crown.

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