Judge says Perez not guilty

| 13/10/2009

(CNS): The man accused of murdering Martin Gareau was acquitted on Tuesday afternoon by Judge Roy Anderson, who said that while it was plausible that Josue Carillo Perez could have committed the crime, plausibility was not enough and the crown had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.  Justice Anderson explained that although the defendant had elected for a judge alone trial, it was still the role of the judge to be both judge and jury and make the decision on the evidence. The judge said that while he believed it was possible that Perez was involved, he could not say that he was sure and therefore returned a verdict of not guilty.

The judge told the court that the Crown’s case was based on circumstantial evidence, and while it had demonstrated with the fingerprint evidence that he was likely there at the scene, there was evidence to suggest that if Perez had played any part he was not alone, but the Crown had presented the case as the defendant as the sole perpetrator of the vile murder.

The particulars of this case do not contemplate that he did it in concert with anyone else,” Justice Anderson noted and explained he could not be sure of Perez’s guilt. He explained that while the Crown had offered a window of opportunity for Perez to have committed the act on the Sunday afternoon and motive in stealing money, it had not proved beyond doubt that the deceased had cash in the apartment.

He also noted that while officers in the case had followed the processes in the execution of their work, the judge said there was a need document evidence and follow protocols. “Everything must be done to secure the integrity of evidence,” Anderson added.

The judge also acknowledged the two applications submitted by the defence to have the finger print and foot impression evidence suppressed, he said that there was nothing to suggest from the case that fingerprint evidence was not as important a tool to law enforcement as ever.

Justice Anderson said he believed that foot impression evidence can also be of great assistance in the process but on this occasion he noted that the expert had said that the evidence could or could not support the case.

In his summing up the judge lamented the end of innocence in Cayman and noted the unstoppable advance of the global village where the old order of tranquillity had ended. “It is my view that Caymanians should not allow the monster of crime to overrun them, but justice must be done,” he said before reiterating his not guilty verdict.

Perez was charged with Gareau’s murder in June 2008 following the discovery of Gareau’s body in his Beach Bay home, on Tuesday the 20 May, by a family member. The crime scene showed evidence of a considerable struggle and the deceased had received multiple blunt and sharp wounds. The pathologist stated that the fatal wound was a fracture to his skull.

See comments from Perez’s lawyer and family www.cayman27.com.ky

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Though we are just a small island community, the time has come for Cayman to have their own resident coroner and a forensics lab with resident examiners.  RCIP needs to seal and guard these scenes and let the pros complete the collection work to prevent the future where prosecutors have no evidence.  Screening  8-9 hours after the Next Level shooting, RCIP officers were removing glasses and bottles for finger prints…2 days later they walked the parking lot outside to look for evidence.  Shouldn’t there be a commanding officer with the wherewithall to initiate a higher level of inquiry immediately after a crime; rather than the next day after your breakfast when it’s sunny and pleasant?  Sorry to say, its that lackadaisical attitude that contributes to our recent prosecution failures.  You have to collect evidence while itexists.  In a salty-air environment any evidence deteriorates rapidly. 

    • Anonymous says:

      More judges need to better understand the fundamental principle of justice.  Like the judge said it is plausible (means quite possible) that he was involved but that is not enough to convict. A guilty verdict should only ever be given if there is absolutely no reasonable doubt about it. Judge Henderson is reported to have said after he was wrongly arrested recently – that every judge should have that experience. What he meant was that an experience like that reinforces the fundamental priciples of justice within you and should make you an even better judge.  Too bad we cant actually do that for every judge.

    • Anonymous says:

      This-the demand for more services-is how the public sector expenditure keeps on growing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear "I don’t think you can only blame the police",

    The comment that a crown counsel just picks up a case and runs with it for the day makes no sense. When would they have had time to prepare for the case?

    It’s at a time like this that the Attorney General needs to come forward and provide a statement. As far as I’m concerned he’s not doing his job and really needs to go. Who will step up and relieve him of his duties?


    • Frequent Flyer says:

      Dear 8:48,

      In defense of "I don’t think you canonly blame the police", they were stating what they had heard and were asking if it were true, knowing that it makes no sense…. Dingdong

  3. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think you can only blame the police, it is also the Crown Counsels who need to get a good wagging. My family has been a target of the crime, and whilst I was not impressed how the police handled the case, they have also expressed their frustration that too many times they have everything needed and then Crown Counsel is messing it up. Somebody once told me that it is not a specific Crown Counsel that sees a case through from beginning to end. Apparently, whoever is assigned to go to court that day picks up the files and runs with it. Anyone knows if this is true?

  4. Fed Up says:

    If you are going to kill someone, you should definately do it in Cayman.  The RCIP has once again proven they are a completely disorganized and incompetent organization.  Who knows if this person was innocent or guilty.  One thing is for certain…The Crown in the Cayman Islands could not collect the required evidence or put forth a strong enough case to convict.  Their case was weak and their presentation weaker.  This will only give the criminals in these islands more confidence to operate without fear of any repercussions.  After all, who are they afraid of, the RCIP…I dont think so!!!!!!   Is there a murderer on the loose, or did we just let loose a murderer.  I guess we’ll let God sort this one out.

  5. Joe Average says:

     Given the decision by defence to elect trial by judge we will be left to wonder if a jury of his peers would had the same reasonable doubts.  More unfortunately it’s difficult in our blessed mix of cultures to actually find a jury of peers. Fortunately or unfortunately the defence’s decision was a good one given that we are all tired of this violence and in the process we are desperately looking for someone to be punished so that it will stop.  

    In a crime of this sort, with the amount of violence involved, and the time it took to kill this man, there was opportunity to stop.  There is still a remorseless killer amongst us who doesn’t appear to have a conscience. Good or bad we all possess one.

    In that case we hold out the hope God and one’s conscience will be the final judge.

  6. CSI:Cayman says:

    Justice has prevailed once again in the Cayman  Islands. The Judges need to stand up to the police when they don’t have the proper evidence which is the case here. It is a crying shame when yoou have the lead crime scene investigator staying under oath the "detail is not his strong point" your a crime scene investigator detail should be your only priority!!! The first officer on the scene shame on him for muckking up the crime scene with the victims two cousins. Poliice need to investigate and do their job not just do a half assed job just to get a case.Police also need to stop with the whole "guilty" until "innocent" mentality. The only reason he was charged is because the police had tunnel visoin with him the whole time never did they try to find the real person who did this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You can’t blame a the Judge for another COSTLY (bet you can check the legal aid on this was expensive) botched case.  If our RCIP officers are not properly trained and continuously mess the evidence what is a Judge to do?

    Would someone gather a few Caymanian police and send them away for a few years to train?!  You keep taking chances with imports but it just not working out!

    I would rather stumble through the next 5 – 10 knowing there is hope because we have put our own people who will return home out there for training than to continue hoping the next comissioner hires some intelligent educated officers to manage a crime scene.

  8. Wonone says:

    They won a rape case a year ago for someone who was innocent, give them credit they won one!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Would it have been a different outcome if the victim was Caymanian I wonder? I think the public pressure would have been a lot greater to convict this man whether innocent or guilty.

    Regardless of the outcome andif he did it or not, we should send him home and not worry about it any longer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should we send him home – he has done nothing wrong – the courts have said so – why are we then going to punish him by sending him home for something he did not do. Maybe he does have somewhere else nice that he wants to go to and he can leave this hell hole behind with its terrible memories and live happily somewhere else. Soon no one is going to want to be here – the bigotry, the crime, the high cost of living – welcome to paradise!!! – soon you can shove it up your a….s. Oh by the way I am Caymanian.


      • Anonymous says:

        The judge did NOT say he had done nothing wrong-that’s a very significant point. Look at his judgement carefully.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Anyone can take the life of someone in the Cayman Islands and get away with it.

    Am really sick of seen these unsolved cases

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is there no case that the crown can win… for God’s sake; trial after trial is lost. The criminal element must think the system is a joke. Well I don’t think the judicial system is a joke; I think that it is broken and someone needs to get off the dime and fix it.

    The crime will only get worse until the justice system is fixed in the Cayman Islands.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sooo, here we go again. Another judge, lawyer, policeman, reporter, layman, whatever, has recognised that ‘The Crown’ (for that read ‘the legal department) have failed to take a good case to court… when is someone going to step up and address these unskilled imbiciles…?

    Be sure of your case ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ or DON’T SUBJECT IT TO PUBLIC SCUTINY!

    Come on CNS, don’t be scared, get on this will you? How many suspects or victims lives have to be ruined before something is done?

    My submission CNS? Your crosshairs are resting on the wrong people….

    CNS: We’ll try to sort our crosshairs out as soon as we figure out what this means.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Oh wow! The famous Scottish verdict of "not proven" which has been much criticised for years because it leaves a cloud over the accused.

    The judge’s name changes in the story, CNS. Please tell us it wasn’t our old judicial gunslinger Sanderson but Roy Anderson.

    • Anonymous says:

      In English law the verdict is never "innocent" but "not guilty". After all there is evidence which implicates the accused; it just did not rise to the necessary level of proof.