The Provincial Court of Cantabria has sentenced Carmen Merino to 15 years in prison for beheading her boyfriend in the Cantabrian town of Castro Urdiales. On November 18, the popular jury of the media crime had already declared guilty to Merino to end in February 2019 with the life of his partner, the Biscayan Jesus Maria Railing, with the intention of “taking advantage financially” after having been named universal heir by him in his will. The president of the jury court considers her the author of a crime of homicide with aggravated kinship.
Merino murdered his 67-year-old partner and gave his skull to a friend. The prosecution requested 25 years in prison for a crime of murder with treachery and aggravated by kinship, since the defendant and the victim had a sentimental relationship and had lived together for seven years.
In his final report addressed to the popular jury, the prosecutor maintained that the defendant planned the death of Jesús Mari and then dismembered the corpse “moved by economic interest.”
The prosecutor recalled that Carmen Merino searched the internet, after Jesús Mari changed the will in her favor, “how long does it take for a corpse to decompose” and “if my husband disappears, do I collect the pension?”, and made “stocks of Diazepam ” in the months before her boyfriend died.
The public ministry dates the date of death to February 13, since the day before the victim stopped calling regularly and the defendant herself stopped contacting him by phone.
In addition, he highlighted, in the later dates Carmen Merino made various cleaning purchases, such as ammonia, garbage bags, bleach or reinforced gloves; a jigsaw and a chainsaw, and several bottles of whiskey.
“He ended the life of Mr. Baranda and had to dismember the body and eliminate all the evidence. Mrs. Merino is not a psychopath (…) she had to use alcohol to be able to undertake the macabre task that happened at that home,” summarized. For this part, the defendant used diazepam to “kill along with another substance” or facilitate the death of Jesús Mari.
The prosecutor considered that Carmen Merino hatched a plan to simulate the disappearance of Jesús Mari, sending messages to his friends and family posing as him to reassure them and did not want to report it until the victim’s cousin went to the Civil Guard.
The private accusation abounded in the “obvious contradictions” of Merino’s testimony, who answered the questions of his lawyer and the jury, and focused on September 28, 2019, when the skull was found.
“It tells us science fiction”, pointed out the lawyer, who has accused Carmen Merino of building a “fantasy and uncertain” story in which she has “lacked the truth”. “It’s so illogical what’s being said that it’s absolutely inconceivable,” she said.
According to her, after the defendant gave her friend the skull of Jesús Mari – the only part of the body found – alleging that they were sex toys and that she opened the box, Merino did not defend his innocence, but “lowered his head.” “Do you think that a person who is innocent does not defend himself?” the lawyer has highlighted.
COVER-UP OR HOMICIDE
The defense, for its part, said it had not been possible to prove “what and how he died” of Jesús Mari nor that Carmen Merino killed him, because “the investigation was worse than a disaster” and no more possible perpetrators were explored, so that it should start “from scratch”, in his opinion.
The lawyer pointed out that the defendant’s neighbors did not hear anything unusual; the house of the friend who found the skull was not searched or investigated; nor was the owner of one of the phones from which messages were sent asked; or they inquired about a drop of blood that was found in the victim’s house.
And although he affirmed that “he does not attribute the murder to anyone”, he indicated that the person who had financial problems was “the son of Carmen Merino” and had “a highly suspicious attitude” regarding Jesús Mari.