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Nov 30, 2005

Police: There will be an inquest into Leslie Roger?s death

Tonight after much speculation regarding the status of the official investigation into the death of Leslie Rogers Jr., the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has commented on the matter to the media. D.P.P. Kirk Anderson told News Five that approximately two weeks ago he informed the Police Department in writing that he did not find any proper basis or credible evidence in the case file to charge Police Constable Aldo Ayuso for the shooting death of twenty-one year old Leslie Rogers Junior. Rogers was shot in the head on Euphrates Avenue on February twelfth. The D.P.P. maintains that no evidence was presented to him that suggests that a crime had been committed, therefore given the circumstances laid out in the case file on the shooting, the incident can only be described as lawful self-defence. However, tonight the D.P.P. contends that he did direct the Belize Police Department to hold a coroner’s inquest in the matter, which would mean convening a five member jury to listen to the evidence and make a determination on whether or not anyone should be charged. Anderson claims that if that body decides that someone should be charged for the incident he will review the matter once more.

The D.P.P. says contrary to published reports, prior to making his decision he did inform the victim’s family through their attorney of that process. On Tuesday, Chief Magistrate Herbert Lord responded to what he called inaccurate media reports stating that at no time was Aldo Ayuso charged for any crime, therefore he was quite surprised to hear that charges against Ayuso were withdrawn. Furthermore, Lord says no case file has been sent to him by the Belize Police Department, and as such no coroner’s inquest has been established.

That said, tonight it appears that the Belize Police Department is the one dragging its feet in this matter. However, via telephone we are informed by police press officer G. Michael Reid that the file is “on the way” and that the coroner’s inquest will happen.

On Monday, the victim’s family told News Five that if Ayuso is not charged for the shooting death of their loved one such a decision would a huge disappointment in the justice system in their eyes.

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