Murder retrial begins

Josue Carillo-Perez’s retrial for murder began on Monday before Justice Algernon Smith.

The defendant, who chose – as he did in the first trial – to be tried by judge alone, is accused of murdering Martin Gareau, a Canadian national, in May 2008.

Carillo-Perez was found not guilty in October 2009 by Justice Roy Anderson. The Crown appealed and in March 2010 the Court of Appeal ruled that the judge had misdirected himself as to the standard of proof. The court ordered a retrial.

In opening the case for the Prosecution this week, Senior Crown Counsel Trevor Ward said Mr. Gareau, 47, came to Cayman in October 2004 and was employed by CI Precast Ltd. He lived in a rented two-storey home in Bodden Town.

His last known contact was a phone conversation with a cousin on Sunday, 18 May. A birthday celebration was planned for later in the day and Mr. Gareau was expected because he was one of several relatives whose birthdays were in May. He never attended the party.

On the following day, a public holiday, his cousin phoned him three or four times, but got no answer, Mr. Ward said. When Mr. Gareau failed to show up for work Tuesday morning, another relative went to his home to check on him. When he opened the unlocked front door and saw blood on the floor and walls, he notified his brother, who called 911. Police officers attended and found Mr. Gareau’s body.

A post mortem examination showed both sharp force wounds and blunt trauma injuries, including a depressed fracture of the skull of about five inches.

Mr. Ward, who is assisted by Crown Counsel Jenesha Bhoorasingh-Simpson, said evidence would include fingerprints and footprints.

On behalf of the Defence, Anthony Donne QC invited the judge to visit the scene. He said he was more interested in the location of the house, in relation to other houses and the road, than he was in the inside of the premises. Justice Smith indicated his decision would depend on whether the physical features of the area had remained the same since the incident.

Mr. Donne is instructed by Attorney Anthony Akiwumi.

The matter has been set down for four to five weeks.

Carillo-Perez was tried and found not guilty in October 2009 by Justice Roy Anderson. The Crown appealed the verdict and in March 2010 the Court of Appeal ruled that the judge had misdirected himself as to the standard of proof.

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