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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 599
Loc: FL, USA
Last seen: 8 years, 5 months
Motion of Acquittal GRANTED in Grow House Trials
    #190959 - 01/31/09 10:09 AM (9 years, 2 months ago)

Motion Of Acquittal Granted In Grow House Trial

Highlands Today
Published: January 21, 2009

SEBRING - A motion of acquittal was granted in the trial of a Lake Placid man charged with operating a grow house.
The motion was granted Thursday by Judge Peter Estrada on all counts against Alfredo Perez Castillo, 37, of 1022 Oriole St., in Leisure Lakes. The charges were grand theft, theft of a utility or cable service, cultivation of marijuana, trafficking in marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"The judge's finding, as a matter of law, took it out of the jury's hands," said Assistant State Attorney David Ward, who prosecuted the case.

On Feb. 21, 2008 deputies with the Highlands County Sheriff's Office obtained a warrant to search Castillo's residence and reportedly found lights, an irrigation system, ballasts, timers, outlets and an air conditioning system inside of an insulated room within the residence, according to a March 19 Highlands Today report.

Almost a month later, deputies made contact with Castillo after they were informed that he was the home's owner. The defendant reportedly told deputies that the last time he occupied the residence was in February.
Defense attorney Joe Concepcion, with the local public defender's office, said Castillo's brother, Ramiro Lopez Castillo, was living at the home, along with his girlfriend, Dailin Bruzon-Diaz, when the warrant was served. Alfredo, however, was living in Naples with his wife.

Alfredo had been allowing his brother to stay at the house in question, which was in the defendant's name, according to Concepcion. The power, however, was in another name. Also, a power diversion was found, but he said there was no evidence his client was responsible.

"The judge's main concern was the state did not meet their burden," Concepcion said.
Ward said he was trying to prove that Alfredo Castillo did occupy a room inside the home.
He pointed to items found in the room said to be the defendant's, such as a piece of dry cleaning with a ticket that had Alfredo's name on it and his 2007 tax paperwork.
"The judge is the finder of law," Ward said. "The jury is the finder of fact."

He added that both Ramiro Lopez Castillo and Bruzon-Diaz had previously pleaded no contest to charges of manufacturing marijuana, grand theft, tampering with theft of a utility or cable service and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were sentenced to seven months in county jail.

In the case of Alfredo Castillo, Ward would have liked to see the trial go the distance.
"I wish a jury could have made a determination," he said.

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Registered: 05/08/01
Posts: 1,279
Loc: city of angels
Last seen: 1 month, 18 days
Re: Motion of Acquittal GRANTED in Grow House Trials [Re: t0ad]
    #190985 - 01/31/09 11:53 AM (9 years, 2 months ago)

Lucky guy.  Plausible deniability worked this time.  Good for him.

Do Your Part!


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Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 7,600
Re: Motion of Acquittal GRANTED in Grow House Trials [Re: geokills]
    #190987 - 01/31/09 11:55 AM (9 years, 2 months ago)

Probably a fairly decent lawyer as well.

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