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August 22, 2022 - 11:54am

One of two defendants accused of killing dairy farm workers arraigned on murder charge

posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, murder, Alexander, news, notify.
cruz_raulmarch2022.jpg
Raul Cruz

One of two men indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury of murder in a double homicide in March was arraigned on those counts in Genesee County Court this morning.

The arraignment of Raul Cruz, 18, of Warsaw, went through standard court procedure -- ensuring all evidence that is available (discovery material) has been turned over to the defense, ensuring the prosecution is ready for trial, setting dates for motions, and reviewing the defendant's bail status.

Cruz entered a not-guilty plea for the murders that occurred in Alexander earlier this year.

There will be more evidence in the case coming from the crime lab, District Attorney Kevin Finnell told Judge Melissa Cianfrini Lightcap.  He indicated there is still a substantial amount of evidence in the case for the lab to process, however, upon questioning by Lightcap, Finnell said he has sufficient evidence already to prosecute the case and is ready to proceed to trial.

Before a trial date is set, the defense has the right to file motions in the case challenging evidence and witness statements, and the prosecution is given time to prepare counterarguments before the court holds a hearing on those motions.

Defense motions are due on Oct. 6, with answers due on Oct. 13.  A hearing on motions is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Oct. 17.

Cruz is being held without bail, but Genesee Justice has yet to conduct a bail scoring worksheet, which is normally part of the bail review process and provides the judge with information on a defendant's flight risk. Defense Attorney Fred Rarick asked that the worksheet be completed before he makes a motion on his client's bail status.  In the interim, Lightcap ordered Cruz to continue to be held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

Both Prince N.K. Wilson, 23, of Albion, and Cruz are accused of killing Elibander "Ivan" Morales and Marcelino Gomez Hernandez at 10216 Alexander Road, Alexander on March 11.

Morales was 30 and Hernandez, 29.  Both were born in Mexico and had been employed in the U.S. for an unspecified amount of time.

They were indicted last week by a Genesee County Grand Jury on counts of murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, arson in the second degree, and petit larceny.

Cruz and Wilson are accused of killing Morales and Hernandez, of setting the fire, and of stealing cash, a suitcase, a laptop, and other personal property.

Wilson is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

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