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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Accused in Cataño birthday party slayings is released


Judge Elmer Rodríguez Díaz on Tuesday ruled for the release of Edwin Edgardo Rivera Pérez, alias “Bubu,” who was accused of involvement in a triple-slaying in Cataño on Feb. 20 in which a four-year-old boy lost his life.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office was never prepared for this case,” Pedro Rivera Martínez, Rivera Pérez’s defense lawyer, said in a written statement. “They never had evidence and the right to a speedy trial was violated.”

“If they didn’t have evidence, for professional dignity they shouldn’t have filed the case,” he added. “In a country of law and order, laws and procedures must be rigorously enforced. Every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this case, the Prosecution did not carry out its work.”

Prosecutor Mónica Pérez Díaz was in charge of the case.

Rivera Pérez was arrested on May 20 by agents from the Special Arrests and Metro Drug & Narcotics divisions following a motorbike and horse race on National Cemetery Avenue in the Hato Tejas neighborhood, said Inspector Joey Fontañez, the assistant director of the Bayamón Intelligence and Arrests Bureau.

Chief Prosecutor Jessika Correa González said in written a statement that: “The Bayamón Prosecutor’s Office of the Department of Justice filed charges against Edwin Edgardo Rivera Pérez, alias Bubu, with sufficient evidence to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and the Court found cause for arrest against him.”

“The case was dismissed because the main witness did not appear at the judicial process, although he was summoned, and the Puerto Rico Police could not find his whereabouts, after making countless efforts. To say that he was released for lack of proof, knowing that it is not correct, lacks truth and ethics.”

The case could be refiled, but the prosecution requires the cooperation of witnesses, in order to prove the charges and have a judge or jury find the accused guilty, Correa González said. All citizens who are called as witnesses must fulfill their social duty in order to do justice, she said.

“Prosecutors do our job of prosecuting criminals, but getting them convicted in our justice system requires evidence, witnesses, documentary or expert,” the chief prosecutor said. “In this case we had it at the time of formulating charges, but the witness did not fulfill his civic duty. Our work will continue to bring justice to Ian Javier Ordoñez Correa, an innocent victim of this crime.”

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