The crimes are: aggravated intentional homicide and aggravated intentional homicide for the 13 dead and 14 wounded, resulting in the killing in hall 14 of the prison. Prosecutor David Mendoza says he has the evidence supporting his accusations
The Superior Prosecutor of Homicide Prosecutor, David Mendoza, got the Guarantees Judge, Eric Javier González, to charge charges for aggravated homicide and aggravated homicide on attempt (since some people died and others were injured), a dozen of prisoners of the La Joyita complex in the wake of the massacre in that penal center on December 17, 2019.
Yesterday at 10:08 in the morning began the first of three days of hearings scheduled in the rooms of the Judicial Branch located inside the prison complex that houses La Nueva Joya, La Joya and La Joyita.
Profile of the accused
The prisoners were admitted one by one, all dressed in shorts, flip flops, and the regulatory yellow shirt (except one that has a periodic precautionary measure and is not deprived of liberty). Of the twelve linked to the process, previously accused of gang members, the oldest is 44 years old, four are between 20 and 30 years old, and the rest are between 30 and 40 years old. Only one is married, four are united, and there are seven singles. One of them responded to the judge that he did not know what his father’s name was, when he asked about his ancestors. None managed to complete secondary studies; The one who went the longest went to third year of secondary school, another reached sixth grade of primary school. Everyone had a private defender who represented them during the hearing.
The back of the room was lined with uniforms. For this hearing, 20 agents were assigned. Once the parties appeared before the judge of Guarantees, Mendoza requested that it be carried out in a reserved manner based on articles 20 and 362 of the Criminal Code that govern the exceptions to the principle of publicity, in order to safeguard the integrity of the victims and relatives of the survivors of the massacre. None of those present opposed the request, so the judge ordered the media to vacate the courtroom.
During the hearing, the prosecutor’s hypothesis on how the events happened was announced. It is supported by the version of three protected witnesses, crime analysis, the autopsy report, interviews with the doctors who treated the injured, planimetry reports and other elements that support the accusations against the syndicates.
The challenge of the prosecution is to obtain information on what happened inside Hall 14 (which houses 569 inmates), which lacks internal monitoring cameras, and that in addition to the prisoners there seems to be no other witnesses to the events until approximately two hours after the shooting was unleashed with heavy caliber weapons. In that world where the code of silence prevails, in which few speak for fear of losing their lives or that of their neighbors, the prosecution will move to find those responsible.
The prosecutor explained that not all those hit by projectile died from the shooting, but that the death was caused by the multiple stabs they suffered, 20, 30 or 40 at times. Something that Forensic Medicine calls in English over killed, or “over killed.” “Some of those who were hit by the projectiles did not necessarily die as a result, but by the gunshot injuries,” Mendoza said.
“This imputation formulation deals with the legally relevant facts”
However, despite the difficulty of the case, Mendoza feels confident that he will manage to bring out the truth and those responsible for that massacre. It is recharged in the scientific evidence and in the stories collected.
The prosecutor said that within the case does not rule out the incorporation of other people.
However, outside the courtroom there were defense lawyers who said that although it is one of the most horrific crimes in the country, scientific evidence is needed to link their defenders with this fact, such as the presence of fingerprints on the murder weapon, for example. Among others, they claim that the scientific tests for the detection of gunpowder residues, although the results of these tests carried out on the clothes of some detainees have not been disclosed, the authorities did not carry them out in the hands of the suspects to find out who triggered the trigger, “allegedly because several hours had passed since the fact,” said one of the lawyers. In the informal talk held by one of the defenders with this medium, This questioned the chain of custody process practiced on the evidence collected, but without giving further details. All of these tests must be evaluated later by a court during the trial stage.
The brawl occurred among members of the same crime group that split. This rupture and the frictions between both parties, which originated outside the walls, caused the tragic events. Mendoza said the motive for the killing was able to respond to this “fracture of the criminal group, in which one of the parties sought to have control of the gang or to maintain the hegemony of the gang, among other causes.”
The investigation that will determine how and who murdered the 13 prisoners and wounded 14, does not necessarily explain how the weapons entered the prison, although this is already under investigation by the Public Ministry.
The prosecution will request a precautionary measure against the detainees. Although it seems redundant to ask for a measure of preventive detention for a person who is already in jail for another case, it could happen that during the investigation time some of the defendants benefit from a measure of probation for the case that has him in prison . However, if the prosecution requests your detention, you cannot weigh the precautionary measure in your favor. In fact, that is the situation of one of the accused. He received a precautionary measure for the case that kept him in prison and could now return to jail if the prosecution requests preventive detention.
The prosecution established a global accusation for all the accused, a fact that will attack the defense as a strategy. They ask for a breakdown of the responsibility that corresponds to each one. In short words: that the prosecutor indicates who killed or wounded who, or what was the role that each played in this bloody act.
In this sense, Mendoza explained that since yesterday the investigation stage of the case started and that it still has the legal deadline, or perhaps more if it is necessary to request “complex cause”, to be able to detail the facts.