Judge Rafael Villafañe Riera found no cause for trial against the five men who were charged with the murder of the former boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho Y Adrian Alberto “Yamil” Mojica Moreno.
This was reported by the spokesman for the Court Administration Office, Jean-Carlo Pérez Nieves. He detailed that the judge found “no cause against the defendants in the preliminary hearing.”
The determination arose after a hearing called for yesterday, Monday, at the Bayamón Court.
It was the second setback for the Department of Justice in this case, which was marked by difficulties in presenting evidence, since last June another judge also ruled that there was no cause because the star witness had left Puerto Rico. Later, when Justice came up, the aforementioned witness did testify.
Another setback in the case arose on August 1, when a hearing was suspended, in which the agent had to testify Reynell Ramirez Rodriguezbecause was unable to return on time from a trip outside of Puerto Ricodespite the court’s warning that he be available to appear.
On the night of November 20, 2012, Camacho was in the passenger side of a car waiting for his friend, Adrian Alberto Mojica Marreroafter leaving the Azuquita business on PR-167 when someone approached the vehicle and opened fire on both of them.
Mojica Marrero died at the scene, while Camacho, who was champion in three divisions of the main international boxing organizations, died four days later at the Centro Médico hospital.
After yesterday’s no-cause ruling, the Secretary of Justice, Domingo Emanuelli, maintained that the prosecutors “presented the court with the evidence required at this stage of the process. The evidence included the testimony of a direct witness to the crime who recounted how on November 20, 2012, the defendants met at the Brisas de Bayamón residential complex to plan the murder of Adrián A. Mojica Moreno, who accompanied Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho to the moment of the facts”.
“Furthermore, the main witness testified that one of the defendants confessed the crime to him. The Public Ministry and the Police Bureau did their job, the product of hard investigative work and a true vocation that did not allow them to give up for almost ten years,” Emanuelli said in written statements.
“Despite the evidence, Judge Rafael Villafañe Riera made a determination of no cause. We respectfully defer to your decision. We regret that today a family was left waiting for justice, in a system that is not infallible. Our support and solidarity with the two families of the victims”he added.
For her part, the chief prosecutor, Jessika Correa, stated that “the Public Ministry was prepared to prove its case, according to the standard of proof required in our legal system.”
“We understand that all the necessary elements were proven to determine cause for trial and we reaffirm that the north of the Department always is and always will be to do justice. However, we respect the court’s decision in the exercise of its discretion.”he claimed.
Wilfredo Rodríguez Rodríguez, Joshua Méndez Romero, Juan Figueroa Rivera, Luis Ayala García and Jesús Naranjo Adorno faced charges of murder and conspiracy, filed last March by the authorities, in a case that was supported by the testimony of star witness William Ojeda Ramos.
After yesterday’s ruling, only Figueroa Rivera will remain in the free community, since the other four are serving sentences for other cases.
Ojeda Ramos’ statement arose after an agreement with the authorities in Florida, where he was serving a sentence for another case and they allowed him to go on probation if he testified in Puerto Rico in this case.
Problems with the witness and what he testified
In circumstances that were never completely clear to the public, Ojeda Ramos left the island when he was due to appear to testify in preview. In the absence of proof, Judge Elmer Rodríguez Díaz declared no cause for trial last June.
The Public Ministry, then, requested an elevated preliminary hearing, after ensuring the participation of Ojeda Ramos.
Then, during a hearing last July, the star witness reported that the five defendants met on the night of November 20, 2012 at the Brisas residential complex in Bayamón.
Ojeda Ramos said that he arrived at the meeting place to take the keys to a gray Jeep vehicle, which belonged to another individual from the alleged criminal organization. Then, she saw how three of the defendants allegedly boarded the vehicle.
“When I arrived, the meeting had already been going on for a while,” commented Ojeda Ramos.
“They were talking about the murder of ‘Yamil,'” added the witness, who indicated that later “they get on the bus.”
He mentioned that there were also other people at the meeting that he identified by their nicknames: “Gordo”, “Papiro” and “El Bizco”, along with someone called “Sebastián”, Méndez Romero, Ayala García and Naranjo.
Ojeda Ramos assured that he met the defendants while he participated in the transfer of drugs in the Rafael “Falín” Torrech residential complex, in Bayamón.
in a rear viewOjeda Ramos stated that after the meeting, “I found out from the mouth of ‘Fredo’ that they were going to kill Yamil”, in reference to Rodríguez Rodríguez.
The witness said that during the events he had stayed in a corner of the residential, next to one of the owners of the drug point, whom he called only by the nickname of El Bizco.
“Some shots were heard. The bus (Jeep) was crossed in front of ‘Yamil”s vehicle, which was a dark-colored car,” he mentioned, just before adding that later, “an (additional) detonation was made on Macho Camacho, who was the one riding on the vehicle”.
Ojeda Ramos acknowledged that his field of vision was limited, precisely because of the gray bus that was across from the vehicle where Camacho was driving.
“I only saw one individual who got out, which was Pajaro, and I saw him enter the (other) vehicle. He leaned into the vehicle and there was a detonation,” he recounted.
The other three people in the Jeep, according to the witness, were the defendants Naranjo Adorno and Méndez Romero, as well as another individual named Sebastián.
The witness indicated that after Ayala García got in, the vehicle started in a hurry. After passing the solo lane, two of his crew members got off at the residence, while the other two continued in the direction of Cataño, he alleged. Ojeda Ramos identified those who got off as Pajaro and Sebastián.
“We waited for them there to arrive. Bird tells Bizco: ‘I had to kill the other one’”, Ojeda Ramos recounted.
The next day, he continued, Ayala García gave him the two weapons used in the crime, so he could keep them. He described the weapons as glock pistols, one of which was .45 caliber and black in color; the other, caliber .40, with shades of cream and black.
The new day published in 2012, the day after the crime, that the Police had identified a suspect the same night of the eventsafter an officer stopped a gray Jeep Commander bus that had allegedly been used in the attack.
Sources from the newspaper said at that time that the driver handed over his license, but that when the sergeant went to verify if it was the suspicious bus, the individual started walking until he entered the residential Jardines, in Cataño, pursued by the police. patrol.
The source added that, upon entering the residence, there was an exchange of shots and the subject managed to flee.
Inconsistencies in the cross-examination?
Nevertheless, Ojeda Ramos’ version began to present problems during cross-examination by defense attorneys.
Here are some of the apparent inconsistencies and omissions highlighted by the co-defendants’ attorneys:
1. He did not say the name of the criminal organization to which he alleged he belonged: the lawyer Jorge Gordon, legal representative of Wilfredo Rodríguez, questioned that the witness never mentioned the name of the criminal organization to which he claimed to have belonged, along with those accused of the crime. Gordon pointed out, suspiciously, that although he claimed to be the runner of the drug point in the Rafael “Falín” Torrech residential complex, was not among the 110 members of the organization, which the federal prosecutor’s office arrested and charged in 2010, for the illegal sale of drugs in the Bayamón residential complexes.
two. The defense lawyers raised doubts about whether the witness really knows what was discussed at the meeting where the alleged conspiracy occurred: The witness had mentioned that on November 20, 2012, the day Camacho’s murder occurred, there was a meeting in the Brisas de Bayamón residence between the alleged conspirators. However, when asked by Gordon, he confirmed that he did not know what each of them had said, because when he came down from his mother-in-law’s apartment, whom he went to visit, he had already finished. He alleged that he learned of the purpose of the meeting through Rodríguez, who told him that they were going to kill Mojica.
3. The witness contradicts himself as to how clear it was when the events occurred: Ojeda Ramos affirmed that the events occurred after 7:30 pm, but mentioned that it was supposedly not dark when he saw that the bus of the alleged murderers crossed in front of the black vehicle where Camacho was going, and heard the detonations. Gordon confronted him that sunset, on that day in November 2012, began at 5:45 p.m. Later, during cross-examination of Ms. Mayra Lopez Mulerothe witness admitted that it was dark, that he was a considerable distance away, and that there were vehicles traveling in both directions between where he was and the business near which the double murder occurred.
Four. Nine years elapsed between the events and the affidavit: The Public Ministry took the sworn statement from Ojeda Ramos in January 2022, that is, nine years and 5 months after the tragic event in which the former boxer and his friend were killed.
5. Alleged inconsistency regarding the reason why the witness arrived at the site of the alleged conspiracy: Attorney Alberto Figueroa highlighted, for his part, the inconsistency between the expressions that the witness made in court and what he had narrated in his affidavit in January. In the courtroom, Ojeda Ramos alleged that he went to the residence to hand over the keys to the gray Jeep, at the request of Juan “Caco” Figueroa Rivera. That Jeep was seized by the authorities for having been involved in the crime. However, the lawyer confronted the witness, since in his affidavit he had said that he was asked to hand over the bus, not the keys.
6. The witness acknowledges that he could not see inside the bus where three of the co-defendants were supposedly going: To questions from another of the defense attorneys, Ojeda Ramos acknowledged, in turn, that he could not see inside the bus, who was inside, because the windows had a dark tint.
With information from journalist Laura Quintero.