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Trial begins for 2 men charged in kidnapping, murder scheme

Men standing trial in 2011 homicide connected to ex-supermarket chain owner

MIAMI – A trial is underway for two men charged in a gruesome and tragic slaying.

Prosecutors allege the defendants helped a former supermarket chain owner pull off the kidnapping, torture and death of his wife's lover. 

Now a jury will decide the fate of Roberto Isaac and Alexis Vila Perdomo, charged in the death of Camilo Salazar in 2011. 

"Camilo is so burned and so beaten that he's nearly unidentifiable," prosecutor Justin Funck said during Monday's proceedings.

Salazar's remains were found along a desolate dirt road in northwest Miami-Dade County. 

His hands had been bound behind his back.

"Beaten about the head, throat slit and his penis lit on fire," Funck said.

The case went cold for several years, until the 2018 arrests of Isaac and Vila Perdomo and Manuel Marin, a co-founder of the Presidente supermarket chain, and alleged ringleader. 

A fourth suspect, Ariel Gandulla, is the state's key witness. 

Defense attorneys took issue with why it took seven years for police to crack the case. 

"Not one piece of evidence leads to Mr. Isaac," defense attorney Michael Walsh said. 

"My client, Alexis Vila Perdomo, is a perfect example of somebody getting sucked into something that he had nothing to do," added defense attorney Ted Mastos. 

Despite the tough and disturbing testimony, Salazar's family is sitting through the trial. 

"Justice is finding the guilty parties convicted," Carlos Salazar, Camilo's uncle, said. 


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