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Jun 22, 2015

Sylvio Espinosa Acquitted of the Murder of Carlos Espat…

Sylvio Espinosa

After almost five years behind bars, Nicaraguan national Sylvio Espinosa walks from murder. The twenty-seven year old was charged with the September third, 2010 murder of former teacher and educator, Carlos Espat, who is the brother of former Minister, Mark Espat. Espinosa was found not guilty of the charge after Justice Adolph Lucas, during a four-week voir dire; ruled that Espinosa’s caution statement in which he admitted to killing Carlos Espat was inadmissible in trial. And with the caution statement as the only evidence the prosecution had against Espinosa, Justice Lucas found him not guilty of the charge and he was free to go. Attorney for Espinosa, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, told News Five that a total of six witnesses were called to the stand.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for Silvio Espinosa

“Their key witnesses were Inspector Anderson, who was the chief investigating officer; Mister Elodio Aragon, who was the then officer in charge of the Eastern Division; Mister Vidal, who was then the member of GSU who said that he was the one the person said I will confess to; and Mister Romero who was the person that took the statement and in this case, the person who witnessed the statement was ill and they only submitted the written statement. For the defense, the accused took the stand, under oath and he explained how he was beaten, how he was not given to eat and how he was threatened; that the life of his family members was threatened by Mister Vidal and then thereafter he was forced to give a statement. What the judge looked at when he gave his summing up…he said that he looked at three things. The accused was saying I wasn’t even told my constitutional right so that I can get an attorney. The second thing he was saying he looked at was that the accused said, look I wasn’t even given water to drink or food to eat for over twenty-four hours before they made me sign this statement. And three, that the accused said I was beaten and I was threatened and I have the bruises to show it. The judge concluded that he believe that the accused was read his rights, but he believes that on the second point, the prosecution failed to prove that this person was fed and watered and when the question was placed to Mister Vidal, Mister Aragon and Mister Romero, they said blatantly that they didn’t even bother to ask him have you eaten, have you had something to drink. In his evidence, the accused said he didn’t even get to sleep. That was how bad it was to him. So on that point, the prosecution failed to prove and they have records. If you know how the police system works, when you go into the police station, they have a diary and they enter what time you came, who put you in the cell, who took you out, if you were fed, if you had a visitor. That’s evidence the prosecution could have brought to the court to prove that everything this man says is a lie; see we can prove it. But they never brought hat evidence to court. On the third point, the young man came and said he was beaten, the judge says the young man came and said he was beaten. The prison brought their records, there is a photograph taken by a prison official that shows bruises on his neck and on his risk—in line with his evidence. The duty of the prosecution was to prove or rebut that that didn’t happen. None of them said that or brought any evidence to prove otherwise on the contrary. They should have disproved it and they couldn’t. So on those two points, it was believed that the story of the accused is correct and as such he was found not guilty.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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