Jun 14, 2010 9:37 PM by Chris Welty
GRETNA, La. (AP) - The first of five trials stemming from an
armed robbery at a Marrero bar that left four men dead has been
delayed because a prosecution witness is on vacation.
Rigoberto Funes, 21, was scheduled to stand trial this week on
three counts of second-degree murder in the Oct. 30, 2008, robbery
of Gomez's Bar. Prosecutors sought a delay Monday because Capt. Tim
Scanlan, director of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Crime
Laboratory, is vacationing out of the county.
The news Monday drew the ire of state District Judge John
Molaison, who said he considered the trial date "firm" and
angrily noted previous delays caused by a backlog of DNA testing on
Funes' attorneys, Paul Fleming Jr. and Cesar Vazquez, did not
object to the delay.
The new trial date is set for the week of July 26.
Bar owner Wallace Gomez, 78; his brother, Beuford Gomez, 75; and
customers Wayne Hebert, 64, and Jeffrey Camardelle, 71, were killed
during the shootout inside the bar.
Funes and four others are charged with three murders because
Beuford Gomez was killed by a bullet fired by Wallace Gomez.
Molaison threw out that charge March 22.
Molaison set the trial for Renile Escobar-Rivera, 30, for the
week of Aug. 23. Trial dates for Mario Funes, 28, Jose
Cornejo-Garcia, 24, and Pedro Navarrete-Duran, 34, have not been
Authorities have said the men targeted Gomez's Bar because it
was known to cash paychecks for customers.