South East Wales

Nicole Reyes: Cardiff family's fears for Caribbean murder trial

Nicole Reyes Image copyright Media Wales
Image caption Nicole Reyes faces a trial next Thursday, accused of murdering her husband

The mother of a Cardiff woman facing a murder trial in the Caribbean says she fears her daughter will not get a fair hearing and faces 30 years in prison.

Nicole Reyes, of Rumney, has already spent 16 months in a Dominican Republic jail, accused of killing her husband.

Jorge Quintanilla Reyes, 38, died in July 2012 after what his wife claims was a road accident in which she knocked her husband off his bike.

The 37-year-old mother-of-two is expected to go on trial next week.

Her mother, Jeanette Clements, said she was flying out to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, and the hearing was expected to take place in the city of Puerto Plata on Thursday.

"She's not going to get a fair hearing," claimed Mrs Clements.

"I know that my daughter is innocent - they do not have one bit of evidence against my daughter."

Ms Reyes was held after her husband died when his motorcycle was clipped, she says accidentally, by her Toyota SUV vehicle as they returned from a night out, travelling on an unlit road.

She had moved to the Caribbean in 2004 with her two children, and her mother and father.

It was there that she met and married the former coconut seller, and found work as a rep with a holiday travel company.

Her family moved back to Wales in 2007, because of the children, but Ms Reyes stayed.

Image copyright Media Wales
Image caption Happier times - Nicole Reyes with her husband Jorge

Last month, a court offered to release Ms Reyes from prison on bail, but set the bail bond at £147,000.

"The judge said he would accept cash or a cheque - but where would we get that sort of money?" said Ms Reyes's mother.

She said the family had already been forced to scrape together every penny they have to pay legal fees and medicine for Ms Reyes while she is in prison - even holding car boot sales to raise money.

"We've spent £122,000 so far on her case, and we are still no nearer to getting her out," said Mrs Clements.

"She is still in prison and she is still very ill.

"We've just got another bill from another lawyer, and after the hearing on the 28th we will have to pay another £7,000."

Mrs Clements said her daughter had developed a parasitic infection while in prison, and was left "sobbing" in pain, and had been living off a diet of prunes and crackers.

"I think she is trying to keep strong for my sake, but I don't even want to imagine... of what she will be like in court," she added.

Mrs Clements said her daughter had been warned to expect a guilty verdict by her lawyer.

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