A Las Piñas regional trial court judge on Friday sentenced four men to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of robbing and then later killing 26-year-old Kristelle “Kae” Davantes in 2013, wrapping up the six-year trial of a grisly suburban crime that then President Benigno Aquino III ordered immediately resolved.
Lloyd Benedict Enriquez, Samuel Decimo, Kelvin Jorek Evangelista and Jomar Pepito were all found guilty of the charges of robbery with homicide and ordered to pay the Davantes’ family P125,000 in indemnity. One of their alleged coconspirators, “Baser” Manalang, remains at large, while their sixth accomplice, Reggie Diel, was discharged as state witness.
Based on Diel’s testimony, the four held Davantes at gunpoint in front of her house in Moonwalk Village on the night of Sept. 7, 2013. Evangelista and Manalang supposedly forced her into their car, a Toyota Altis, while Decimo, Pepito and Enriquez drove the Honda City to Tagaytay City. It was there where they stabbed Davantes with a knife and strangled her with the cable of her laptop, said the family legal counsel Vicente Davantes.
Diel testified that Evangelista and Manalang threw Davantes off a bridge in Silang. They took off with her laptop and phone, and burned the car in Batangas City.
Decimo, who was the first of the five suspects to be arrested, later pleaded guilty. Pepito, Enriquez and Evangelista all denied killing Davantes, saying they were merely present during the robbery.
But Judge Salvador Timbang Jr. said it was clear that they had conspired to rob Davantes. While Diel was not able to confirm who really killed her, “pinpointing the actual perpetrator is not necessary.”
“Case law establishes that whenever homicide has been committed by reason of or on the occasion of the robbery, all those who took part as principals in the robbery will also be held guilty as principals of the robbery with homicide although they did not take part in the homicide,” Timbang wrote in his 13-page decision. “The act of one is the act of all.”
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