Connections emerge between victim and defendant

| 20/09/2009

(CNS): Police testimony in Grand Court One on Friday during the trial of Jose Carillo-Perez began to reveal how Martin Gareau may have known the defendant and how he had come to visit the murder victim’s home several weeks before Gareau’s bloody and beaten body was found on the garage floor of his residence in May 2008. RCIPS witnesses confirmed that two women interviewed during the investigation had said they had visited Gareau’s house in Beach Bay in the company of the man charged with his murder as guests.

Two police officers who gave evidence on Friday said that they had taken statements from various witnesses during the investigation into the murder and confirmed that Maria Delarosa and Yesenia Perez, the defendant’s girl friend, said that they and the defendant Carillo-Perez were guests at a BBQ at the victim’s home some three to four weeks before Canadian national Gareau was murdered. The two women were revealed to be room mates and the court had heard earlier testimony that Gareau had been developing a close relationship with Delarosa.

Officer Orlando Mason said that the two women had indicated that they and the defendant were all friends of Gareau’s and had visited his house. Officer Richard Clark also confirmed that he was aware these two witnesses had indicated that they were friends with the victim and had been guests at the Beach Bay house along with the defendant in April 2008.

The prosecution’s case depends, Crown counsel has said, on circumstantial evidence as well as on two latent fingerprints, in blood, that were found on the door of the deceased’s house, which it contends match those of the defendant Carillo-Perez. However, the defence is arguing innocent contamination, and defence counsel Anthony Akiwumi spent a considerable time on the Crown’s RCIPS witnesses to raise the issue that Perez had been to Gareau’s home before — although the matter is still largely disputed by the Crown.

During cross examination, Clark one of the officers present when Perez was arrested, also told the court that during the investigation, before the arrest, he had made enquiries at the Courtyard Marriot on Seven Mile Beach based on information given by the defendant. Clark explained that Perez had told police that he and his girlfriend Yesenia had stayed at the hotel during the holiday weekend when the murder took place, something which Clark said he was able to confirm through hotel records.

Akiwumi also questioned Clark on what he found during his search of the room used by the defendant and his girlfriend. The RCIPS officer said he had found nothing at all untoward in his search or any incriminating evidence. Clark confirmed that he had gone soon after the discovery of Gareau’s body based on the information given by the defendant in a voluntary statement he had made before he was a suspect.  Officer Clark also confirmed that before Perez was arrested the RCIPS had other suspects.

The trial, which is expected to last for another week, continues on Monday morning with evidence from the first of the Crown’s scenes of crime officers. Ronnie Pollard, who began his evidence on Friday afternoon, confirmed that he was the officer to take the latent prints from the victim’s home.

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