Immigrant slaying case headed to jury

June 16, 2008 2:13:23 PM PDT
Nine months after his indictment, the case against George Bubaris is about to go to the jury. The former Mt. Kisco police officer is accused of driving Rene Perez to a desolate road last April and fatally striking the homeless Guatemalan immigrant.

Jurors once again were shown surveillance footage they claim shows Bubaris' patrol car going to and from Byram Lake Road.

In closing arguments the prosecutor said, "This wasn't a transport. This wasn't a courtesy ride" and that Bubaris "...hit him out of frustration or anger."

Perez died of internal bleeding from a torn mesentery -- the lining of the abdominal wall.

In his closing, defense attorney Andrew Quinn said the case was based on "a mountain of bad medical evidence." Quinn told the jury "that injury occurred long, long, long before George Bubaris had any contact with Rene Perez."

It's "like trying to fit a square fist in a triangular hole." Bubaris is charged with second degree manslaughter, but the jury can also consider criminally negligent homicide.

The judge in the case will instruct the jury on the law on Tuesday morning, and then the deliberations will begin.

The manslaughter charge carries a sentence of up to five to 15 years in prison. Negligent homicide's top sentence is 16 months to three years.


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Marcus Solis