Pleads guilty to strangling his mother-in-law Print E-mail
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Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00

Peter King ContrerasOn Tuesday, June 11th, 41- year-old businessman Peter King Contreras appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas for the start of a murder case against him in the killing of his mother-in-law, 50-year-old Argentina Garcia. Garcia was killed on December 13th, 2010. Before the trial got underway, however, King pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the killing.

When he was first arraigned in Magistrate’s Court in 2010, Contreras had expressed great remorse for his action and had told the then Chief Magistrate, Margaret Gabb McKenzie that he knew what he did was wrong and that he was ready to be punished for what he did.

He has now gotten that chance and he told the court that he did it because of provocation. The DPP’s office accepted the guilty plea after which prosecutor Kaysha Grant read out the facts of the case.

According to police, on December 13th, 2010, at about 9:30 a.m., Argentina Garcia, arrived at King’s Cuisine Restaurant, which was owned and operated by Contreras. The restaurant was situated along the Phillip Goldson Airport main road with Ladyville Village.

Garcia had come to restaurant to see her daughter, Leslie Garcia, who at the time was Contreras’ common-law-wife.

At about 12:00 noon, Contreras offered Garcia a ride in his blue Isuzu Motor vehicle to the intersection of the PGIA main road and the Northern Highway and she accepted the ride.

According to Contreras’ caution statement to police, which he gave them on December 14th, 2010, (the day after the killing) whilst he was taking Garcia to the intersection, they got into an argument when Garcia questioned, “Why would Leslie want a loser like you?”

According to Contreras’ caution statement, he then punched Garcia twice in her face. A struggle ensued where Garcia made an attempt to exit the vehicle but he used a rope and pulled her back into the vehicle and that it was that same rope he used to choke her to death.

After strangling his mother-in-law, Contreras then drove around the Ladyville area all afternoon with the body of Garcia in his car trunk.

He then went home with her body remaining in his car truck and the next day, at about 3:00 a.m., he decided to drive away again with the body of Garcia from his house. As he was heading along the PGIA main road and upon reaching the intersection with the Northern Highway, (now the Phillip Goldson Highway), a police mobile patrol headed by Cpl. Mossiah, stopped Contreras’ vehicle after he failed to provide them with a driver’s license and up-to-date documents for his vehicle. A search was conducted inside his Isuzu vehicle which led police to discover Garcia’s body lying motionless in his truck.

According to police, during the search of his vehicle, Contreras remained sitting behind the steering wheel of his vehicle. When he was asked about the circumstances that led to the body in his truck, he initially told police that he had earlier knocked down a female in an accident.

It was not until a short while later that Contreras told police that the female in the truck of his vehicle was his mother-in-law and that he had an argument with her and he strangled her.
Contreras was then taken into police custody during which he willingly gave them a caution statement.

In court while the facts of the case were read, Contreras held his head down to the ground. After the reading was done, he held up his face and was seen crying, taking his right hand to wipe his tears from his face. Judge Lucas then asked him to stand and asked him if he accepted the facts as read to him. Contreras agreed with the police facts of the case and Judge Lucas told him that he will accept his guilty plea for the lesser charge since the Prosecution, Kaysha Grant had proven all the elements of the crime of manslaughter.

Justice Lucas deferred sentencing for Tuesday, June 18th as he gets guidance as to what sentence to impose that will fit the crime and circumstances of the crime.