More Developments in Kirby Archer Florida Boat Murder Case - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Miami

More Developments in Kirby Archer Florida Boat Murder Case

MIAMI (AP) - The lawyer for a man on trial in Miami for the killings of four people aboard the "Joe Cool" charter fishing boat says his client was a victim of his co-defendant Kirby Archer, the robbery fugitive from Arkansas. The lawyer for Guillermo Zarabozo says Archer was the master manipulator who plotted alone to hijack the boat and who fired all the fatal shots.

The defense says the 20-year-old Zarabozo was unaware that Archer planned to seize the boat and head for Cuba when they went aboard September 22, 2007.

Archer has already pleaded guilty to killing "Joe Cool" captain Jake Branam, Branam's wife Kelley, and crew members Scott Gamble and Samuel Kairy. He faces life behind bars.

After being reported missing, the "Joe Cool" was found out of fuel and adrift far south of the Bahamas. Archer and Zarabozo were rescued from the boat's life raft a few miles away.

Authorities recovered shell casings and other evidence aboard the "Joe Cool" but never found the murder weapon nor any of the bodies. They theorize that Archer hijacked the boat and was planning to go to Cuba to escape Arkansas investigators.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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