Attorney elicits profile of slain man

Before his death in May 2008, Martin Gareau was a strong, affable man who lived alone but had several girl friends, his cousin told the court on Thursday.

Attorney Anthony Akiwumi, who is defending Josue Carrillo-Perez on a charge of murdering Mr. Gareau, questioned the Crown witness, saying ‘Although I am on this side, I am trying to elicit from you a profile of your cousin. I am not necessarily being adversarial.’

Gilles Langlois was the first witness called by Senior Crown Counsel Trevor Ward. His evidence followed a ruling by Justice Roy Anderson that fingerprint evidence was not to be excluded, although Mr. Akiwumi had submitted arguments as to why it should be (Caymanian Compass, 18 September). The judge said he would put his reasons in writing later.

Mr. Langlois told the court that he found Martin’s body in the garage area of his Beach Bay residence on the morning of 20 May 2008. He said he had first sent his brother Guy to check after Martin did not show up for work. It was the Tuesday after a Monday holiday.

The witness explained that he operates the business CI Pre-Cast and Martin came from Canada in November 2004 to work for him after Hurricane Ivan two months earlier.

They were close, more like brothers. They socialised, usually every week, going to different night spots such as Havana Club and what was then called the Rock Fish Bar, and sometimes going after work to Singh’s Roti Shop.

The last time he saw Martin alive was at the Rock Fish Bar on Saturday night. Martin left alone around 10pm and Mr. Langlois left around 11pm. They spoke by phone on Sunday around mid-day.

There was to be a barbecue party later, starting around 7.30 or 8pm, because Martin and two of Mr. Langlois’ brothers all had birthdays between 23rd and 31st May. He said he went around 7pm because he was helping with the food. He did not see Martin as expected, so he phoned him on his work phone and personal phone, but got no answer.

He left the party after midnight and Martin never showed. Asked by Mr. Ward if it was like Martin not to take or return calls, Mr. Langlois said not for business or family matters, but there were other occasions when he did not take calls. He said he did not hear from Martin on Monday either, although he tried phoning three or four times.

Asked about money, he said Martin had been paid the Friday before the weekend. He did not know the amount but it was for two weeks at $18 per hour.

Questioned by Mr. Akiwumi, he confirmed that Martin was going through a divorce in Canada and it had not been finalised. He did not know about close friends, but Martin was well-liked and had a number of acquaintances. He was affable and jovial.

Asked if he had any girl friends, Mr Langlois said there were a number of women Martin went to lunch with or dinner or went out with. ‘I can only imagine he had some stay at his house now and again,’ he added.

He said there was one woman Martin was courting. He knew Martin had sent her flowers and asked her to come to the birthday party that Sunday night.

Asked if it was an intimate relationship, he said he knew Martin would have liked it to be. Martin had told him he had not been successful in that regard.

He said the woman was at the bar on Saturday night. He thought she sat between him and Martin.

Mr. Akiwumi asked if he knew whether the woman had a boy friend at that stage. Mr. Langlois said he did not know at the time, but he heard it later.

Asked about jewellery, he said Martin might have had a chain and cross and maybe a watch, but that was about it.

He described Martin as around five feet 11 inches or so, not active in sports or going to the gym, but he could work like two men. ‘I believe he was strong …he didn’t have a bad back or anything.’

Earlier he told the court that Martin was a certified welder and also operated machinery.

Justice Anderson is hearing the matter without a jury, as Carrillo-Perez chose.