The Department of Justice (DOJ) has secured the conviction for murder of a gardener who stabbed to death an American national in Batangas in 2007.
In the case filed by the Batangas Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, Mark Anthony Manuel was charged with murder for the gruesome killing of his employer, Harold Williams Adams, 96, in his house at No. 20 Maligaya Beach, Barangay Bucana, Nasugbu, Batangas.
During trial, the prosecution presented several witnesses, including the secretary in the resort owned by Adams.
She testified that she was instructed by Adams to demand payment of Manuel’s PhP 200,000 loan which he was able to secure from Adams’ wife, Nonalita, in September 2006.
Under the terms of the loan, Manuel was to pay “the same after six months at 5% monthly interest.”
She said that Manuel promised to pay the loan on Aug. 15, 2007.
However, Adams was found dead inside his room on Aug. 14, 2007.
“The victim sustained multiple sharp force injuries of the neck, chest, arm and forearm,” the Batangas Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 ruling said.
The prosecution also presented as witness a tutor of one of Adams’ grandchildren.
She told the court that at the time of the incident, she “saw Mark stabbing him [Adams]” as she peeped through the door of Adams’ bedroom.
She recounted that she saw “Mr. Adams [was]lying on the left side of the bed while Mark was at the side of the bed. Mark was holding his knife with his right hand while his left hand was on the face of Mr. Adams, covering his face. The left hand of Mr. Adams, upon the other hand, was holding the hand of Mark which held the knife as if trying to stop him.”
In the 27-page ruling, the RTC found Manuel guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and imposed upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua with all its accessory penalties.
The RTC also ordered him to pay the heirs of the victim a total of PhP 435,000 in civil indemnity and damages.
Meanwhile, DOJ Secretary Leila M. De Lima hailed the prosecution for securing a conviction on the case.
De Lima noted that “the prosecution team presented a total of 15 witnesses whose testimonies bolstered the case against the accused.” PNA