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Aug 28, 2018

Justice Williams Denies No Case Submission in Richard and Maria Stuart Murder Trial

The criminal trial against Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila continued today in the court room of Justice Colin Williams today. The two men stand accused of butchering Attorney Richard Stuart and his wife Maria on October sixteen 2010 at their home in West Landivar. On Monday, the court heard testimonies from both accused who proclaimed their innocence. Today, Leeroy Banner, attorney for Avila, entered a no case submission, asserting that his client has no case to answer since the evidence did not directly links him to the murder or the victims. The prosecution rebutted, saying that the keys and other items such as a laptop which were found in Lopez’s yard belonged to the victims and as such he does have a case to answer.  Justice Williams agreed, denying the ‘no case’ submission. Banner explained.

 

Leeroy Banner, Attorney for Eli Lopez Avila

“It was my view that the evidence was insufficient to establish a case against the second accused. We believe when the evidence was looked at in its totality, it was weak and tenuous and therefore at this stage we invited his Lordship to stop the case and enter a verdict of not guilty.  The crown on the other hand is saying that the case is based on circumstantial evidence and there are pieces of evidences linking the accused to the crime. The crown submission was based heavily on the fact that items that belonged to the deceased were found in his yard, that he took police to those items and the fact that those items were found some thirty miles away from the house in West Landivar. He invited the court to when looked at the evidence in its totality that there is some evidence that they accused is involved in the crime that he is charged with. The Judge accepted his submission and therefore the case will continue on Monday when we will do the closing items. Several items were recovered; a laptop and a key. The key is important because that key was sent to the lab for testing. It was sent to Jamaica for DNA testing and according to the expert the blood that was found on the key is linked to one of the deceased. One inference that could be drawn is that the accused is involved because these items were found in his yard. My submission was that not because these items were found in his yard he is guilty of the offence charge. This case not whether or not this person is guilty but whether or not there is some inference of guilt. The law is saying that if there is some evidence, it could be weak, at that no case submission stage the judge is bound to let the case go on and then the accused should lead his evidence then.”

 

The case was adjourned to Monday, September third.

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