The murder case involving Gabriel Pestana of Venezuela, and Cuban Arturo Plutin Rodriquez in connection with the June 2016 death of another Spanish speaking individual, Jinardo Jose Martinez Rojas from Venezuela, will be set for trial in the January 2019 Assizes.
This was announced, when the mater came up before Guyanese-born High Court Judge, Justice Paula Gilford last week Friday, at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court on St. John’s Street.
The suspects were represented by Attorney-at-law, George Prime, who was at the time holding papers for his colleague, Attorney Anselm Clouden.
Pestana and Rodriquez are both accused of committing Non-Capital Murder between May 26-28 at Lowther’s Lane, St. George by intentionally causing the death of Rojas by unlawful harm.
Days after the body of the 28-year-old man was discovered by the owner of an apartment building, tied and wrapped in a sheet in the vicinity of Lowther’s Lane, police investigators swooped down on the two men, who are now facing a maximum penalty of life imprisonment on the indictable Non-Capital Murder charge.
The deceased is believed to be one of three men who approached the owner of the apartment to rent it.
Information reaching THE NEW TODAY at the time of Rojas’s death is that he was being sought by Police in connection with a scam at a local commercial bank in the city.
There were reports circulating that Rojas was allegedly beaten in the head to death with a concrete baluster by his attackers. A post-mortem revealed that he died as a result of extensive skull fracture.
Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had arrested Rojas’ wife for defrauding the bank of US$38, 000.00.
According to a source, the Venezuelan woman, now on remand at the Richmond Hill prison on a charge of embezzlement, came into the country with false documents and used one of them to impersonate a wealthy account holder at the bank.
“The woman went into the bank on the pretext that she was this account holder and got away with US$38, 000.00. She came back a few days later to take out more from the account when the bank got suspicious and called in the police (FIU)”, he said.
The Venezuelan woman was nabbed but her male companion who was with her managed to evade the officers and fled from the scene.
Reports had surfaced that the couple were staying at a rented apartment in the Calliste area in the south of the island.
The FIU officers conducted a search of the building and discovered approximately EC$13, 000.00 in cash but Rojas was not found.
Instructions were given to Immigration officials to be on the lookout for the Spanish-speaking man for questioning in connection with the bank scam.
The police officers positively identified Rojas as the body that was discovered after reviewing video footage from the bank on the day that his wife was detained and he ran from the scene.
THE NEW TODAY understands that some of the money taken from the bank was sent out of the country by the woman now in custody at the prison.
Police believe that the money scam at the bank might hold the clue to the murder at Lowther’s Lane.