Defendant in on-board homicide to be retried

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A federal judge in Miami says a defendant in the charter yacht Joe Cool quadruple-murder case that occurred last year will be retried on 12 counts, including murder, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

However, there has been no decision on whether Guillermo Zarabozo, 20, will be retried on the conviction handed down last week that stated he was guilty of providing the murder weapon. Zarabozo’s attorneys objected to the decision, stating that he could not be convicted of four firearms charges without being first convicted of the murders, according to the report.

Zarabozo, a former security guard in Hialeah, Fla., was on trial for the deaths of four crewmembers aboard the 47-foot sportfishing charter vessel named Joe Cool — its captain Jake Branam, 27; his wife Kelley, 30; Scott Gamble, 35; and Samuel Kairy, 27. Prosecutors say Zarabozo and Kirby Archer, 36, chartered the vessel last year under the guise of a fishing trip to the Bahamas, but intended all along to hijack the vessel to Cuba, according to the Miami Herald. The bodies of the victims were allegedly dumped overboard and never recovered.

Archer, who took control of Joe Cool to avoid arrest after the alleged theft of $92,000 from the Wal-Mart he worked at, as well as child sexual abuse charges in Arkansas, pleaded guilty.

The new trial date is set for Jan. 19.