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Nov 17, 2016

Jordan Cayetano is Free of Murder Charge in 2011 Death of Chinese Grocer

Jordan Cayetano

For the second time this week, a man accused of murder has been set free. Again, it is due to police coercing a confession out of a suspect without supporting evidence. Jordan Cayetano joins Charles “Bundy” Herrera, who was set free on Monday of the murder – by stabbing – of Ezekiel Nicholas Medina in May of 2014.  But in 2011, Cayetano was accused of murdering a Chinese businesswoman which triggered a shutdown of Chinese businesses in the city. The crime he was accused of rocked the nation and directly led to changes in criminal justice for the country. One of those changes – trial without jury – was the instrument for Cayetano’s acquittal. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Twenty-four-year-old Jordan Cayetano is tonight a free man after spending almost six years on remand for the murder of a Chinese national.  On April second, 2011, businesswoman Yan Ying Chen was shot and killed at her shop on King Street.  The senseless killing was one of two homicides that rocked the local Chinese community, prompting a countrywide shutdown in the days that followed.  Cayetano was subsequently arrested and detained before being charged with murder.  During his detention, Cayetano alleged that he was beaten into confessing to the crime.  That wanton act of police brutality would eventually become the undoing of the case against Cayetano.  Senior Counsel Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley represents Jordan Cayetano.

 

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney for Jordan Cayetano

“Jordan Cayetano, who was about seventeen or eighteen years of age, on the second of April 2011, he was arrested in relation to a shooting death, a murder, of a Chinese lady on King Street.  Broad daylight, midday, and he has been in prison five years and eight months awaiting trial.  His sister Vanessa contacted Anthony Sylvester and myself and we were able to start the trial on the first day of November.  However, this trial had some important legal issues because there are two caution statements and also an oral admission in which the police are saying that around 7:30 on the second of April, they were present in the offices of the GSU building on Queen Street, Belize City when a sergeant of police from CIB went over to GSU and Jordan Cayetano was asked questions and he admitted to doing the shooting.  And where there is a confession, whether oral or in writing the defense attorneys have a duty based on instructions, obviously Jordan Cayetano told us, yes he did do the shooting and yes, he gave the statement or mentioned it out of his mouth that he was the person who did it thenw e would not be defending that person.  Neither Anthony nor myself would go to court in such circumstances.  So from a legal standpoint, the law is that, in fact at the start of a trial where there is a confession where there is an oral admission or an oral confession that proper procedure is in fact to inform the court and to do the challenge in relation to those alleged confessions.  So that is what took place in this particular case.”

 

Interestingly, the case against Cayetano also fell apart when Prosecutor Rene Montero Junior admitted to the court that the National Forensic Science Service either lost or misplaced the spent shells recovered from the scene of the shooting.  As a result, ballistic testing was unable to be conducted to determine if the shells found at the scene were indeed the same shells from the firearm found on Cayetano after the murder.  Justice Troadio Gonzalez ruled that the evidence was inadmissible.

 

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

“In this particular instance we challenged that the supposedly, the purported oral admission of Jordan Cayetano that he had shot a Chinese lady for no reason was challenged and witnesses were brought for the two sides.  Jordan Cayetano himself took the witness stand and was cross-examined.  Anthony [Sylvester] first took him through examination in chief, stage by stage by stage which the judge commended the veracity of what was being said and so today the decision was handed down by Judge Gonzales that evidence brought by the prosecution, because the law is that the prosecution who must prove beyond any doubt that the statement was obtained in accordance with the judge’s rules, in accordance with the evidence and in accordance with the various case laws that sets out to protect persons who are confessing to crime, persons who are in custody.  It turned out in our view that in fact members of the GSU beat up Cayetano and in fact sapped his strength and his will and were able to get him to either say those words or to claim that he said those words.  And today the judge made a ruling that he could not, as a trial judge and listening to the facts of the case, the evidence that you put, you could not say that that statement was obtained voluntarily and freely and in accordance with the laws that govern the matter.”

 

Jordan Cayetano

Justice Gonzalez also deemed the caution statement and oral confession made by Cayetano inadmissible because his rights were violated when he was threatened, physically oppressed, beaten, choked and shocked with an electrical cord.  While witnesses would later testify that Cayetano was never physically abused, they fell silent when asked if he was informed of his constitutional rights.  Prosecutor Montero then entered a nolle prosequi, allowing Cayetano to go free. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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3 Responses for “Jordan Cayetano is Free of Murder Charge in 2011 Death of Chinese Grocer”

  1. Tallz says:

    Please fire Rene Montero Jr. Immediately!!!! Evidence is always getting “lost” or “misplaced”!!!!!

  2. Mike G. says:

    And once again, due to the ineptness and outright unprofessional brutality of the police, a murdering criminal walks back into our already threatened society to kill again.

  3. Timber says:

    Believe me, once a criminal, always a criminal. He will do something again and , even though you don’t wish bad for anyone, anytime one of these politicians or their family members get caught in the crossfire, things will change, His days are numbered on the streets though. He might not see New Years 2017.

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