Features — 14 June 2013 — by Rochelle Gillett
Peter King Contreras, 44, pleads guilty to manslaughter

Contreras strangled his mother-in-law to death

Today, Peter King Contreras, 44, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his mother-in-law, Argentina Garcia, 50.

The facts which were read to the court stated that at 9:30 a.m. on December 13, 2010, Garcia arrived at King’s Cuisine Restaurant, which was operated by Contreras, and located in Ladyville. Garcia had gone to the restaurant to see her daughter, Lesley, who was Contreras’ common-law wife.

At about noon that day, Contreras offered Garcia a ride to the intersection of Philip Goldson International Airport road and the Philip Goldson Highway in order for her to catch a bus back to Indian Creek, where she resided.

According to Contreras’ caution statement, which was recorded at 6:56 a.m. on December 14, 2010, “It was whilst on the way to the intersection that Garcia and I got into an argument, where she told me ‘Why would Lesley want a loser like you?’

“After that, I punched her twice in her face and then a struggle ensued and she attempted to exit the vehicle. But I stopped her by using a rope, and I used that same rope and choked her to death.

“I then drove around the entire afternoon with her body in the vehicle. I left her body there all through the night and after 3:00 in the morning, I drove away with the body and at the intersection, a police mobile stopped me and after failing to provide a driver’s license and up-to-date documents for the vehicle, police searched the vehicle.”

Police said that they discovered the body of a short, chubby woman in the trunk of the vehicle, and throughout the search, Contreras remained calmly seated in the driver’s seat. When questioned about the body in the trunk of the car, Contreras initially told them that he had knocked down the woman with his vehicle.

A short time afterward, Contreras told them that the woman was his mother-in-law, and it was at this point that he told them that he had choked her to death.

As the facts were being read to the court, Contreras was observed hanging his head, and at the end of the reading, he started to cry.

Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr., then told Contreras to stand, and informed him that, “The facts presented by the prosecutor proved all the elements of manslaughter, and I accept your guilty plea.”

The judge then reserved sentencing for next Tuesday, June 18, when Contreras will be given an opportunity to present a mitigation plea and have witnesses speak on his behalf.

The Crown was represented by attorney Kaysha Grant, and Contreras was represented by attorney Ernest Staine.

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