HOLMES COUNTY Day three of the Jeremie Peters trial saw more witnesses take the stand, including Lauren Kay Wambles, who is also charged in connection to the murder of Raul Ambriz Guillen last year.
Peters is charged with principle to second degree murder with a firearm, accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse, and conspiracy to tamper with a witness.
Opening arguments began Tuesday with Assistant State Attorney Brandon Young stating that Peters and Guillens alleged killer, William Shane Parker, were best buddies and hung out together all the time. Young noted that the murder was committed at Peters home and that he had prior knowledge that it was planned.
[Peters] knew the murder would take place and made sure he wasnt there when it occurred, Young told the court.
Attorney Kerry Adkison, who represents Peters, argued during his opening statement that Parker was not someone with whom Peters was friends, rather someone that he feared.
[Peters] is scared of [Parker], just like everyone else is who knows him, said Adkison. [Parker] is a monster who does whatever he wants and doesnt care who it hurts.
Adkison went on to say Peters had no prior knowledge of the plan to murder Guillen.
As of the close of court proceedings Wednesday afternoon, 18 witnesses had taken the stand to give testimony since opening arguments. Included in that list are Wambles, Guillens ex-wife Markie Ruiz, Guillens daughter Rosa Ambriz, Holmes County Sheriff John Tate and other HCSO investigators, Peters former girlfriend Angela Pelham, and several witnesses from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
During her testimony on Tuesday, Ambriz told the court that sometime after July 4 of last year, she asked Parker if he had seen her father because she had not heard from him and had become worried. Parker replied that he had not seen Guillen and did not know where he was.
The trial is expected to conclude on Thursday. It is not yet known if Peters will take the stand.
Look for an update on this trial as Holmes County Times-Advertiser continues with more in-depth coverage tomorrow.
PREVIOUS STORY (Posted June 22, 2021)
BONIFAY Opening arguments began Tuesday in the trial for one of three people charged in the July 2020 homicide of Raul Ambriz Guillen.
Jeremie Odell Peters, was charged last year by the Holmes County Sheriffs Office with being a principal to the murder, as well as an accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with a witness.
A six-member jury was selected at the Holmes County courthouse on Monday with trial proceedings getting underway the following day before Circuit Judge Timothy Register.
Holmes County Sheriffs Offices involvement in the investigation came after investigators with the Jackson County Sheriffs Office and Houston County, Alabama Sheriffs Office contacted HCSO to advise their search for 51-year-old Guillen led them to information stating Guillen was last seen at Peters 1101 Highway 171 residence where he was in the company of 35 year-old William Shane Parker of Gordon, Alabama and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Lauren Kay Wambles of Dothan, Alabama.
Investigators with the Holmes County Sheriffs Office obtained search warrants at two homes on Highway 171, including that of Peters, and evidence pertaining to the homicide was discovered at both locations.
Bay County Sheriffs Office Search and Rescue then assisted with cadaver dogs, which located what appeared to be a grave site off Kirkland Road in northeastern Holmes County. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement then excavated the site, where the body of a deceased male later identified as Guillen was located and recovered.
According to investigators, Guillen is believed to have been killed sometime over the July 4 holiday in 2020, with his remains not being discovered until the end of August 2020. Sheriff John Tate stated in a press conference just after the Guillens body was recovered that the case is a complex one but that the motive appeared to come down to drugs and money.
Trial dates have not yet been set for Parker and Wambles, who are charged with an open count of murder and being a principal to murder, respectively.
Opening statements were still ongoing at press time, but Holmes County Times-Advertiser will continue trial coverage throughout the week and update court events online at holmescounty.news