Jamie Dawson Sentenced to 17 Years for Manslaughter
After spending eleven plus years behind bars for a murder, Jamie Dawson learnt his fate today. He’s twice been tried for the December 2002 murder of Maurice Neal which took place at the Bismark Club in Belize City. In his first trial in February 2004, he was found guilty but that conviction was overturned and a retrial ordered. His retrial took place in 2009, but a jury could not reach a verdict so a third trial was ordered. But on the advice of his attorney, late last month, Dawson pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Dawson was twenty-three years old when he was imprisoned for the crime; today he threw himself at the mercy of the court begging for leniency and remission time after being on remand for eleven years and eight months. This afternoon, he was sentenced to seventeen years, but Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin left it to prison authorities to determine how much more time Dawson will actually serve because while it came to the court’s attention that he had a number of previous convictions, he had a three year conviction for grievous harm which he picked up while incarcerated and that will factor into how much more time he will be behind bars.