Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2022. 4:53 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Brandon Hughes and Jose Gomez were convicted on Friday of the murder of businessman Oscar Rosado, Senior, at his establishment on Cemetery Road in April of 2018.
Supreme Court Justice Susan Lamb, presiding, issued the verdict and set sentencing for Tuesday, December 13.
Hughes, Gomez, and another were accused of using a ruse of buying nails at Rosado’s Construction Supplies on April 23, 2018, to attempt robbery, escalating to murder. The Crown’s case was that three men entered the store, asking for a pound of three-inch nails, for which they paid. They left and returned a few minutes later, complaining that the nails were too big, and when Rosado went to search for the right nails the men jumped him. Rosado pushed Hughes back as he, Hughes, pointed the gun at his wife Elena’s face, and Hughes then shot him at point-blank range to the forehead as the others looked on.
Justice Lamb ruled that with no alibi evidence presented (i.e. that someone else committed the crime or that the accused were not present when the crime was committed), she could rely on the testimony of Oscar Rosado, Jr., the crown’s key witness who heard the shot fired at his father, then saw the gunman pointing the weapon at his mother and then at him. The younger Rosado told police and the court he begged for his life as the gunman pressed forward, only to be answered with more bullets fired by the gunman as the trio fled.
Justice Lamb said the court could not otherwise reasonably conclude that the shots were fired by anyone other than the same gunman who shot and killed the elder Rosado, and that that gunman was identified as Hughes through the identification process conducted by police and by the testimony of Elena and Oscar Rosado Jr. Further, she said, there was no justification presented for the shooting.
Gomez’s guilt, she further ruled, was based on joint enterprise – two or more persons agreeing to commit a crime, including potential crimes arising from that crime. While the men may not have agreed together to specifically murder Oscar Rosado Senior, she found that they agreed to rob him together, and that Gomez knew Hughes was carrying a gun and intended to use it, and failed to stop him or otherwise remove himself from the scene, concluded that they acted in common cause.
Gomez had given a caution statement to police claiming he had been pressured to go to the shop and order nails and that he did not know Hughes personally and had no knowledge of any plot.
The trial was conducted in June and July of this year with Crown Counsel Sheiniza Smith prosecuting and Leeroy Banner defending Gomez and Hughes.
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