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Not guilty verdict after 2nd trial in Hawaii murder case

March 23, 2019

KEALAKEKUA, Hawaii (AP) — A Big Island man incarcerated for two years while charged with murder was acquitted after a retrial.

A jury found Eber Miranda-Garcia not guilty of the 2015 murder of his landlord, West Hawaii Today reported Friday.

“I’m very happy I soon will be able to be with my family — my wife and daughter — the two most important people to me,” he said after the trial. He was sent back to Hawaii Community Correctional Center before he could be officially released.

“In this case, the jury has given a family the justice they’ve deserved,” said his defense attorney, Terri Fujioka-Lilley. “This jury, they’ve given him his life back.”

He and his brother were arrested in 2017 for the killing of Dolores “Lolo” Borja-Valle, whose body was found in a Captain Cook coffee field.

Eber and Marlon Miranda-Garcia were initially tried together last year. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict.

Deputy Prosecutor Sheri Lawson didn’t comment on how Eber Miranda-Garcia’s acquittal Thursday affects the trial against his brother, which is scheduled for July.

“The case was difficult and the jury did their job,” she said. The case was difficult because it was based on circumstantial evidence, she said.

Fujioka-Lilley also said it was a difficult case. She said she feels sad the family of Borja-Valle doesn’t have closure.

“But sending Eber to prison would not be justice,” she said.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com