Perez faces second murder trial in September

| 16/08/2010

(CNS): The man who was acquitted of the murder of Canadian national Marty Gareau will be tried for the crime a second time next month. Josue Carillo Perez will stand trial again on 20 September although there is no new evidence in the case. Perez was acquitted following a judge alone trial in front of Justice Roy Anderson last year but following an appeal by the prosecution based on the wording of the judge’s ruling in March, the appeal was allowed and a new trial ordered. Five months after his acquittal, Perez a Honduran national who lives in the Cayman Islands, was re-arrested and has remained in custody since at HMP Northward.

Gareau’s beaten body was discovered in his home in Beach Bay in May 2008 and with no witnesses to the murder two faint finger prints belonging to Perez which the crown said were made in Gateau’s blood were the basis for the crown’s case. However, Perez, who took the stand in his own defence, had said he was friends with the defendant, said he had been at Gareau’s home a few weeks before the murder for a barbeque which would explain the presence of the prints.
The crown had offered no other forensic evidence and the circumstantial evidence was based on the fact that Perez had a window of opportunity on the afternoon of the Sunday before the body was found to commit the crime. The exact time of death was unclear as Gareau had spoken to a family member on the Sunday morning but had not been seen or hear from again until his body was found on Tuesday May 2008.
The judge said in his ruling that it was possible that Perez had killed Gareau and the latent prints indicated he could have been at the scene but the crown failed to prove he had committed the murder.
During the appeal against the judge’s not guilty verdict the crown argued that when he delivered his verdict the judge had engaged in speculation without fully expressing the reasons for his doubts and had directed himself that the burden of proof "was enhanced" because it was a murder trial. The crown said that if the judge had acquitted the accused man on the basis of a theory not presented to the court or because he had raised the level of the burden of proof, it would be an error in law.
As a result of the word “enhanced” the appeal court judges allowed the crown’s appeal and sent the case back to the Grand Court for a retrial.
Meanwhile, the current Cayman Islands Court of Appeal session will be hearing appeals in two other murder cases this week. On Tuesday William McLaughlin-Martinez who was convicted by a jury last year of murdering Brian Rankine in George will appear for his appeal against that conviction. Then on Friday Randy Martin who was convicted of murdering Sabrina Schirn at the prison farm, following a judge alone trial in front of Justice Charles Quin in January will make his appeal.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Could someone please explain how he can be brought to trial again for the same crime after he has already been acquitted? 

    CNS Note: This is the first case in which the crown has appealed and overturned a verdict under the new rights to appeal conferred by changes to legislation in 2006, which opened the possibility that a defendant could be tried for the same case twice in the case of a judge alone trial.

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