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Crown wants De La Rosa matter be given priority @ next assizes

- as trial is further delayed
A year after his extradition from the United States and subsequent incarceration, the trial of Alberto Rosa De La Rosa is yet to get started as there was another delay to its start in the just concluded May criminal assizes. Photo: VINO/File
Alberto Rosa De La Rosa is accused of unlawfully causing the death of Riky Bautista Familia aka Macoticea (shown above) on Friday November 16, 2012. Photo: Team of Reporters
Alberto Rosa De La Rosa is accused of unlawfully causing the death of Riky Bautista Familia aka Macoticea (shown above) on Friday November 16, 2012. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A year after his extradition from the United States and subsequent incarceration, the trial of Alberto Rosa De La Rosa is yet to get started as there was another delay to its commencement in the just concluded May criminal assizes.

This prompted Senior Prosecutor Valston Graham to request that the matter be given priority in the September assizes as the defendant is in custody.

De La Rosa, who is charged with unlawfully causing the death of Ricky Bautista Familia aka Macoticea on Friday November 16, 2012, appeared before Justice Nicole Byer in the High Court of the Virgin Islands on Friday July 24, 2015.

Mr Graham told the court that the most recent delay to the start of the trial was due to a key Crown witness being seriously ill.

De La Rosa is to return to court on September 21, 2015.

The accused had made his first appearance in the Magistrate's Court on July 11, 2014 before Magistrate Ayana Baptiste-DaBreo following his extradition from the United States.

He was ordered extradited following due procedures followed after representations made by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).

Fatal bar fight

The court had heard that on the day in question, Friday November 16, 2012, the accused stabbed the victim in the region of his chest during a scuffing between the two. Based on the allegations presented by Senior Crown Counsel Ms Leslie Ann Faulkner, the accused had greeted a friend of the deceased. Familia made a statement to the accused which he was not very pleased about.

De La Rosa allegedly pulled a knife from a bag he was carrying and waved it in the air resulting in the scuffle. They were separated and the defendant allegedly placed the knife in his pants waist. Two of the accused’s friends allegedly chastised him for having the knife on his person at the Maria/Sandra Bar in Sea Cow’s Bay (SCB) where the incident had occurred.

The ill fated fight occurred after the deceased, having left the bar, touched his neck and realized that there was blood. He then went back into the bar and pushed De La Rosa and the second fight ensued when it was realised that the victim was stabbed in the chest. The victim ran to the outside of a back door but collapsed some 10-12 feet away from the door.

Following that episode the defendant allegedly continued his raged behaviour as he confronted several other patrons who were at the bar and in their defense they warded him off using pool sticks. Familia was found face down when police arrived on the scene and was pronounced dead on the spot.

De La Rosa subsequently left the bar and upon arrival of the police officers they did not find the accused. They later learnt that he had fled to the USA.

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