44 year old Honduran National Rosendo Gabarette was acquitted for the murder of Juan Cardona, on Monday.
In November 2010, fifty six year old Honduran Juan Cardona was discovered dead in an area in the Village of Bella Vista, Stann Creek District. His body was observed with what appeared to be multiple chop wounds to the head and upper right side of the arm.
Rosendo Gabarette was later arrested and charged for his murder, based on two witness statements.
However his case stood trial on Monday, before Justice Denis Hanomansingh at the Supreme court in Dangriga, where he was found not guilty. Defence attorney for Rosendo Gabarette Senior Council Simeon Sampson explained why the evidence presented by the prosecution was not enough to convict Rosendo Gabarette of the heinous act of murder.
“There were two female witnesses; one who said that she could not identify the person facially, but that she recognised him only by his voice, [saying], ‘I will kill you.’ Contemporaneously, this person who uttered these words, was doing chopping motions on the human being on the ground.
But the Judge in court was satisfied the nature of the evidence, being voice recognition, was not sufficiently strong to support a conviction.
Additionally, there was no other independent evidence to support that already weak evidence from the prosecution.
There was another witness for the prosecution, who said that she saw this incident through a little one inch hole. But at the trial on the witness stand, she recanted and said, ‘No. That was not the man I saw, after all,’ leaving alone the evidence of voice identification, which could not be substantiated as evidence strong enough, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gabarette was guilty, and the Judge was obliged to set him free.”
The case was heard without a Jury.