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Ghost boat: Building a Potential Homicide Case Not Easy

Federal prosecutors, building a homicide case against the two men, hope for confessions, too. Without one, without the victims’ bodies and without compelling physical evidence, authorities face major challenges in bringing possible murder charges against Kirby Archer and Guillermo Zarabozo, who paid $4,000 cash to charter the boat on Sept. 22 for an ill-fated one-way trip to Bimini.joecool.jpg

”To the average Joe Public, the case circumstantially appears to be highly suspicious and most people would say they must have done it,” said Bill Matthewman, a prominent criminal defense lawyer.

“But from the point of view of the court of law, the case doesn’t meet the standards of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not a slam dunk case.”

Archer, 35, an Arkansas fugitive, and Zarabozo, a 19-year-old security guard from Hialeah, are the sole survivors of the bizarre mystery at sea. They remain in federal custody, facing a bond hearing Tuesday. Their courtappointed attorneys declined comment.

It was Monday morning when a Coast Guard helicopter hoisted the pair from an orange life raft 12 miles north of the abandoned 47-foot sportfishing boat, Joe Cool. The previous day, a Coast Guard cutter had discovered it adrift about 11 miles southwest of Cay Sal Bank, Bahamas, and about 40 miles north of Cuba.

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