US Marine appears in court 20 months after the murder of Irish police officer and girlfriend in Philippines

Former US Marine Timothy Kaufman appeared in court after he and two accomplices allegedly murdered former Irish police officer David Balmer and his girlfriend Elma de Guia in the Philippines.

Former US Marine Timothy Kaufman finally appeared in court after he and two accomplices allegedly murdered former Irish police officer David Balmer and his girlfriend Elma de Guia in the Philippines.  

Along with fellow American Joseph Tramontano and Filipino Jesus Santos Jr., Timothy Kaufman has been identified and charged with the premeditated shootings that occurred over a year ago on September 2, 2011.

Boston.com has reported that Kaufman and Tramontano allegedly broke into the Angeles City home where 18 shots were fired killing Balmer and Guia while Santos waited in the getaway car.  Kaufman was arrested in April by the Saratoga County Police and the FBI after he had been spotted suspiciously leaving the home along with his part-time maid providing police with incriminating evidence that she had been asked to destroy. 

Santos was arrested in March while Tramontano is believed to be still at large somewhere in Asia. 

The home and scene of the crime belonged to Balmer’s friend Richard Agnew who was a club owner in the area.  Tramonto even worked as a manager for one of the clubs.  

Agnew spoke to investigators and remembered discovering his front door had been forced open.  Agnew didn’t think much of it as his Balmer had previously done the same when he lost his keys.  Agnew went to bed and the next morning discovered that his house mates had been gunned down and been arranged to look asleep in bed.

Nolly Bautista, an agent with the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation, has said they're, ‘‘looking at the drug angle,” knowing the suspects used cocaine and crystal meth.  

Santos has corporated and explained that Kaufman said the home belonged to someone who owed his friends money.  Santos also recalled that Tramontano practically boasted that Balmer was begging for his life and that he replied, “No, this is for my money, and this is for my girl.’’

Agnew told the Associated Press that, ‘‘David was a retired police officer and a very quiet man, not the sort of person to have a problem with anyone,’’ and added,  ‘‘I was devastated, as was David’s family in Ireland.  Perhaps now with these arrests, there shall be a justice for what happened.” 

Balmer and Agnew became friends when they both joined the Northern Ireland’s Royal Ulster Constabulary in the late 1970s. 

Kaufman had been staying with his grandfather, Sydney, who believes his grandson is being framed.  He simply stated, “I can tell you this, he’s not guilty.”

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