A judge releases a young man accused of killing his mother for lack of evidence | Society

Elisa Polo was found at the dawn of a July 16, 2017, in the bedroom of her house in Chiclana de la Frontera (Cádiz). The first autopsy pointed to a natural death, but successive reports raised questions. One year and nine months later, last April, her adopted son ended up arrested, accused of having suffocated her. The child was 14 years old at the time of the events, 17 now. The data that framed him were so "incomplete, confusing, contradictory and / or simply not credited" that a judge has just released him.

The sentence issued by Antonio Puerta, head of the Juvenile Court number 1 of Cádiz, acquits the young man after concluding that there was no evidence of weight to condemn the child, who during the process accepted his right not to testify. The ruling, notified on January 3 and advanced by the Diario de Cádiz, has meant that the teenager is released immediately. Since nine months ago he was arrested in Chiclana, he has been in the juvenile detention center of La Marchenilla, in Algeciras, accused of a crime of homicide for which the Prosecutor's Office requested five years of detention and three years of probation. "The biggest indication is that the boy was in the house, there is no more," sums up the defense lawyer, Javier García de la Vega, of the Escalante law firm, about a ruling against which there is still an appeal.

Elisa Polo, 51, lived with her son in the villa at number 14 on Vinagre Street since he separated from his partner - father of the boy - a year and a half before his death. After the separation, he left to live in Fuengirola (Málaga). On the morning of July 16, seeing that Polo did not go to his job as governor of the RIU hotel, two colleagues went to his house, on one floor and located in a quiet area on the outskirts of Chiclana. The minor told them that when he heard the door he went in search of his mother and found her unconscious, the employees declared. Upon entering, the workers discovered the body of the woman on the floor, between her bedroom and the corridor, as the sentence to which EL PAÍS has had access recalls.

The woman presented a wound in the jaw and the marks of a slight groove in the neck. The first preliminary medical report determines that the mother, who suffered a previous cardiac injury, dies of an "acute lung edema whose fundamental cause is under study." It was the beginning of the "contradictory and confusing evolution of forensic action", as Judge Antonio Puerta assures in his sentence. This autopsy is followed by three more studies that suggest that pulmonary edema had been caused by a "mechanical asphyxiation."

In the last report, issued last October, six months after the boy's arrest, a vase standing close to the victim's body is mentioned. This study indicates that the edge of this object could fit with the groove that Polo presented in the neck. However, the sentence argues that this hypothesis is "difficult to understand", since it would imply that someone had forced her to kneel before him and exerted pressure on her throat until suffocation, even though the body did not present defense wounds, finger marks on the neck or the back of the head. To this is added that, throughout this process, the object had not been overturned and that the report did not provide exact explanations of the asphyxiation mechanism. The judge concludes that "a probative and argumentative effort is greater" than determined, something that he explains by citing the reasoning in up to seven sentences of other deaths from suffocation.

By the time these new reports pointing to violent death are issued, the house had already been unsealed and no new evidence could be sought. A year and nine months later, already in April 2019, the Civil Guard - in charge of the investigation - reopens the case due to forensic opinions and calls to declare the young man as an investigator. It is then when another of the confusing evidence cited by the judge occurs: the investigators speak of an alleged confession of the child in which he acknowledges that he hit the mother and left her unconscious in retaliation for a punishment.

However, the judge does not admit this statement as evidence since it was made prior to the start of the formal statement, "without the presence of your legal representative and lawyer to assist you." In addition, Puerta censors "the generic" of the statements of the psychologist agent that was present. And the sentence goes further: "The probative activity, its obtaining, practice and result and interpretation of it is forced, it seems that everything must rest on a self-incriminating statement, which finally reveals itself as irregular."

With this conjunction of inaccurate forensic reports, a confession that does not grant validity and the absence of further evidence, the judge has ended up decreeing the free absolution of the young man, just on the same day he was serving the maximum nine months he could be provisionally in a detention center. He also exempts his father - as a guardian and responsible - for paying the compensation of 200,000 euros requested by the private prosecution, exercised by two brothers of his mother. Now, waiting if the Prosecutor's Office or these relatives resort, father and son only aspire to recover a normality that was truncated in a chalet on the outskirts of Chiclana two and a half years ago.

"They just want to turn the page"

Elisa Polo was filled with happiness by her son. His coworkers already remembered, in April 2019, that he was “crazy with him”. The woman, who was the ruler of the Riu del Novo Sancti Petri hotel in Chiclana, joined the staff of the establishment from Lanzarote. There or in a previous residence he had to manage the adoption of his son, since the Andalusian Board then confirmed that he did not have data on it. When the woman died, the boy moved to Fuengirola to live with his father, until he was called to testify and ended up in Chiclana. Now with 17 years, the young man, with withdrawn and quiet behavior - as the sentence also explains - just wants to “turn the page” with his father, explains the defense lawyer, Javier García de la Vega. “No one takes away what has happened. First he is left without a mother, then he is told that it is by natural death, then that it is violent death and finally they put him in a center. With 17 years has passed what surely we have not passed any, ”he says.


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