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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Manslaughter Count Remains Against Ex-Cop

Bubaris slay trial: 3 charges dismissed against ex-cop; manslaughter count remains
The Journal News by Rebecca Baker and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon by June 11, 2008

WHITE PLAINS - A state judge today threw out three of the four charges against a former Mount Kisco police officer charged in the death of a homeless immigrant. While a second-degree manslaughter charge stands against ex-cop George Bubaris, state Supreme Court Justice Lester Adler ruled that prosecutors had failed to "meet their burden of proof" on three related charges: unlawful imprisonment and two official misconduct counts. Based on the decision, prosecutors failed to prove that slain immigrant Rene Javier Perez was taken unlawfully and against his will when he was driven to the lakeside road in Bedford where he was found mortally injured. Adler's ruling came after the Westchester County District Attorney's Office concluded presenting its case against Bubaris, who is charged in Perez' death on April 29, 2007. Perez, 42, was found dying less than an hour after he made a 911 call to Mount Kisco police from a village laundry.

Bubaris and two other officers - Lt. Edward Dunnigan and Officer Edward Dwyer - responded to Perez' call. Prosecutors allege that Bubaris then sought out Perez and drove him to Byram Lake Road, hitting him in the abdomen and leaving him to die. Dunnigan has since retired, while Bubaris resigned while facing disciplinary charges. Bubaris' lawyer, Andrew Quinn, denied that his client played any role in Perez' death. Perez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, lapsed into a vagrant lifestyle after arriving in the United States. He lived in a wooded area behind a Mount Kisco supermarket and was often seen drunk around the village. Quinn, who begins presenting the defense case today, has suggested that Perez' lifestyle, and not Bubaris, caused his death.

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