by Carla Occaso
BARRE — Murder suspect Jayveon Caballero, 29, of Barre, was ordered to be held without bail May 22, according to Washington County States Attorney Scott Williams. Proceedings were held at the Vermont Superior Court — Criminal Division, 255 North Main Street, Barre.
Caballero was arraigned on a charge of second degree murder, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 20 years to life without parole. He will appear back in court May 26 for the court to decide “whether the state’s evidence is strong enough for a continued hold without bail,” Williams said. Bail is set at $500,0000.
Caballero had been extradited back to Vermont over the weekend of May 20-21 to face charges of second degree murder stemming from the January 22 homicide of Markus Austin, 33, in Montpelier, according to a joint report issued by the Vermont State Police, U.S. Marshal’s Service and the Montpelier Police Department.
Caballero had been caught May 4 in Deltona, Florida after months on the run following the early morning shooting death in the parking lot of Austin’s Montpelier apartment on Barre Street. Caballero quickly fled the scene — and the state — causing a multi-agency law enforcement manhunt beginning January 22. The U.S. Marshal Florida/Caribbean Fugitive Task Force finally caught up with him at a relative’s home. Also with him was his girlfriend, Desiree Cary, 22, of Barre.
Cary had been at the center of the incident, according to several witnesses who were with both Caballero and Austin the hours before the shooting following an early morning brawl in the parking lot around closing time at Gusto’s Bar in Barre. Many people were involved in the melee. Court records state that witnesses report Austin assaulted Cary, who sustained injuries bad enough to go to the hospital. Then, Caballero became increasingly agitated before showing up at Austin’s parking lot to lie in wait.
“I think law enforcement did a really nice job in investigating this case. There is motive, means and opportunity, and while no one has yet been asked to look at a photo lineup, we did have a witness,” Williams said. That witness saw the shooting, described the a car very similar to the one owned by Caballero and remembered two characters from Caballero’s license plate.
In addition, Caballero has been ordered to provide DNA for testing. Investigators got DNA from a cigarette possibly smoked by Caballero just before the killing.
“I believe that DNA is going to be a match to Mr. Caballero,” Williams said.
Montpelier Police Department Chief Anthony Facos was at the arraignment along with Captain J.P. Sinclair, Lieutenant Todd Baxter, and Detective Sergeant Zach Zorn — all of the Vermont State Police. They had collaborated to lead the immediate and ongoing investigation following the incident.
But even though this is a victory for law enforcement and their work, Williams said this situation brought no pleasure. “I am very plugged into the community. I know Caballero. People who know him said he has to be held accountable for whatever he did, but, he’s a good guy. …(even though) he has violent behavior in his background.” Caballero has a year-and-a-half-year-old child who won’t see her father very often. The situation also brought tragedy on Austin’s young son and girlfriend. And there’s also the loss to Caballero’s mother.
“There is no win here now and it is such a stupid, stupid thing.”