Police screwed up — the two won acquittal, even without legal representation in court
On July 7, 2012, Mark Mitchell’s home was broken into, and police arrested and charged Lloyd Parchue, 20, and Wayne Herrera, 22, for the crime.
But today, at the end of the trial, the prosecution failed to prove its case, and Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr., found the two accused not guilty of the crime.
Mitchell had reported to police that he had left his home properly secured on July 7, 2012, and travelled to Chetumal. But on July 8, he received a call informing him of the burglary, and he returned the same day to make a police report.
Stolen from his house were a black Playstation valued at $1,300; an Amazon brand Kindle valued at $500; a white Apple iPad valued at $2,000; an assortment of computer wires; an LG computer monitor; a black 32-inch flat screen television valued at $2,500; 3 video games; and a black Magnavox DVD/VHS player.
According to police, Parchue was found in possession of the iPad, Kindle, Playstation and computer wires, while Herrera was found with the other items. Herrera was charged with handling stolen goods as well as burglary when he was arraigned, while Parchue was charged only with burglary.
But in the course of the trial, the Magistrate found that the case against the men was weak, especially when it came to Ernie Miranda, who, according to police, gave them a statement telling them that the monitor was taken to his house by Herrera, hence leading to the handling charge against Herrera.
Miranda, though, testified that when he gave the statement to police, he did so under duress. He claims that police forced him to give that statement about Herrera when some of the stolen items were found at his (Miranda’s) house. According to him, he was promised that if he gave the statement, no charges would be brought against him.
The Magistrate therefore rejected his statement, since, according to his (Miranda’s) testimony in court, the statement was offered after a promise of no charges being levied on him was made.
Other persons were called to testify — persons who allegedly were found in possession of the stolen items, but the Magistrate questioned why those people had not been charged.
Another point that was questioned by the Magistrate is the fact that although it was stated by police that Herrera and Parchue were found with the stolen items, none of the other witnesses testified to this. In fact, all the stolen items were found with those persons who were never charged.
According to the testimony of Sgt. Keith Clarke, the investigating officer, some of the items were handed over to him by one of the witnesses.
In the end, the Magistrate had no other choice but to acquit the two men of the charges, because they were never physically found with any of the items, and there was no evidence to support the police’s claim that they were found with the items.
Herrera walked out of court a free man, but Parchue was returned to the Hattieville Prison, where he is currently on remand for allegedly burglarizing a home in Hattieville, among other charges.