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Widow of victim in murder-for-hire plot testifies in court

Presidente Supermarket co-founder conspired to kill Camilo Salazar, state says

MIAMI – The wife of Camilo Salazar, whose body was found bound, beaten and burned in a gruesome murder-for-hire plot, testified in court Tuesday morning.

Daisy Lewis Holcombe described to the courtroom the day her husband disappeared, unable to hold back tears at times, while the pair accused in her late husband's killing, Roberto Isaac and Alexis Vila Perdomo, sat across the courtroom.

The emotional testimony took place on the second day of the trial in which state prosecutors have accused Issac and Vila Perdomo as key accomplices in carrying out a plot to kill Salazar, masterminded by Presidente Supermarket co-founder Manuel Marin.

Marin, prosecutors said, learned his wife was having an affair with Salazar and hired Isaac, Vila Perdomo and a third person, Ariel Gandulla, to kill him.

Salazar's remains were found in 2011 on a dirt road in northwest Miam-Dade County near the Everglades, giving detectives a break in the case, which has taken seven years to come to trial.

"Camilo was so burned, so beaten that he was nearly unidentifiable," state prosecutor Justin Funck told jurors Monday.

Attorneys for both Isaac and Vila Perdomo say their clients are wrongly accused, citing a lack of evidence and the time it took for the case to come to trial.

Gandulla is listed as the state prosecutors' key witness. The former professional mixed martial arts fighter pleaded guilty last September to kidnapping. Prosecutors dropped conspiracy to commit murder and murder charges after Gandulla agreed to testify against Isaac, Vila Perdomo and Marin.

Gandulla was charged when investigators found his fingerprint on a vehicle registered to Salazar, as well as cellphone records, an arrest warrant from April said.

Gandulla had been living freely as a fugitive in Canada until he voluntarily turned himself in September, investigators said.

On Wednesday, the wife of Marin, the woman Salazar allegedly had the affair with, is scheduled to testify.