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E-mail Could Compromise White House Murder ID

November 14, 2008

A widely circulated e-mail may compromise a critical part of the prosecution’s case against two suspects in the murder of White House Casino dealer.

The e-mail contained the mugshots of the two suspects in the case, Juan Mena Jimenez and Christian Mora Cantillano, who were arrested in the Oct. 28 murder of Yerlin Marín, 24, and for attempted murder of Angie Peraza, 25, and Arelis Marín, 28, Yerlin’s sister, who were both shot twice but survived.

But Chief Prosecutor Francisco Dall’Anese told the daily Al Día that the images’ circulation could compromise the women’s identification of the two in a police lineup and “put the validity of the evidence at risk.” But, he added, “the (witness identification) is not necessarily … inadmissible (evidence) because the women are in the hospital and have not seen the pictures or the e-mail.”

“The bar is higher now (for the prosecution),” lawyer and criminology expert Carlos Tiffer told The Tico Times. “But the case isn’t lost.”

The Judicial Branch confirmed that Peraza and Marín had correctly identified Mora, 28, and Mena, 27, in a live police lineup.

The two men are charged with kidnapping the women shortly after the three left the White House Hotel & Casino, where they all worked as dealers, in Escazu, west of San Jose, then driving to an ATM where they forced Peraza to take out $200 in cash, then going to three different locations where they shot each one execution-style.

–Holly K. Sonneland

 

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