Evidence shows former Presidente Supermarkets partner was near crime scene, detective says

MIAMI – Manuel Marin’s cell phone was near the crime scene, a detective said on Monday in Miami-Dade County court, as the Cuban-American businessman stands trial over an alleged murder-for-hire plot in 2011.

Detectives accused a trio — Roberto Isaac, Alexis Vila Perdomo, and Ariel Gandulla — of abducting Camilo Salazar, 43, in Coconut Grove, torturing him, and killing him before using gasoline to burn a part of his body off Okeechobee Road near the Everglades

Marin’s “phone pinged off of a tower which was located just north of the crime scene,” retired Miami-Dade Detective William Hladky said during his testimony in court about the mobile ping data that detectives gathered as evidence in the case.

Gandulla, also known as Ariel Sarria, also testified on Monday. He said he saw Marin in his blue Mercedes-Benz during Salazar’s kidnapping. He had already testified against Isaac and Vila Perdomo.

“I didn’t do enough to help somebody,” Gandulla said in Spanish about his motivation for pleading guilty to the kidnapping.

Attorney Jose M. Quiñon, a former Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County who is defending Marin, said there is evidence that his client was in Bimini on the day of the murder.

Marin’s then-wife, Jenny Marin, testified last week that Salazar, an interior designer from Coconut Grove who was married to Daisy Holcombe, was killed after her husband found out she had an affair with him that lasted about two years.

Marin, a former Presidente Supermarkets partner, surrendered to authorities in 2018 at a U.S. embassy in Spain to face charges for the June 1, 2011 murder.

Prosecutors charged Marin with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder. After his arraignment on Nov. 20, 2018, his trial was set for July 9, 2019, but there were delays over the years, and some were related to the pandemic.

In 2019, a jury found Isaac guilty of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder, and Vila Perdomo guilty of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder. A judge sentenced Isaac to life in prison and Vila Perdomo to 15 years in prison.

As part of a plea agreement, a judge sentenced Gandulla to 36 months in prison, which he served. The Florida Department of Corrections released him on April 11, 2022.

Marin turned 69 in January while in the custody of Miami corrections. Records show he is being held at the Metrowest Detention Center. Testimony is scheduled to resume on Tuesday morning.

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About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.