CEBU CITY – The 43-year-old man who self-confessed to have brutally killed a 16-year-old girl in Lapu-Lapu City pleaded not guilty to the murder case filed against him.
The legal counsel of Renato Llenes elucidated that the not guilty plea didn’t mean that the accused was retracting his admission that he was the one who killed Christine Lee Silawan last March 10 in Barangay Bangkal, Lapu-Lapu.
“Not guilty as to the charge of murder. We want the case be downgraded to homicide and that’s the only time that he will plead guilty,” stated lawyer Manuel Degollacion Jr.
Llenes was accused yesterday before the sala of Judge Christine Muga-Abad of the Regional Trial Court Judge Branch 70.
As the legal counsel, Degollacion said it is his job to give what’s best for his client. “The strategy is to make sure that the sentence to be imposed is lower degree. That’s the duty of the lawyer,” Degollacion said.
Murder carries a penalty of 20 to 40 years imprisonment. Homicide carries a penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
Unlike murder, homicide is a bailable offense.
Llenes had self-confessed killing Silawan by stabbing her several times and skinning her face.
He met the girl through Facebook and was able to befriend the girl by pretending he was a teenage boy named CJ Diaz.
Llenes was detained by police last April 9 near his home in Lapu-Lapu City.
The Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’ Office found probable cause to indict Llenes due to his admission and after it was proven that he was the owner of the Facebook accounts he used in communicating with the victim.
Silawan’s ex-boyfriend was also arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation but was later on cleared and released.