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Jan 27, 2004

Family, UDP react to death penalty for Chin murder

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It took almost two years, but on Monday two men were sentenced to death in one of the country’s most sensational cases, the murder of businessman Philip Chin. In delivering his sentence, Justice Troadio Gonzalez said he considered mitigation pleas and testimonies from two character witnesses, but that it was the statements by the two convicts themselves, Deon Slusher and Jeremy Harris, that made him decide that the premeditated crime deserved the death penalty. Today News 5 spoke with Chin’s daughter, Adrienne, in the U.S. and United Democratic Party spokesman, Patrick Faber, for reaction to the sentence.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

On the night of February fourth 2002, Jeremy Harris and Deon Slusher kidnapped well-known businessman, sixty-three year old Philip Chin, tied his hands behind his back, and took him to mile twenty-five on the Northern Highway and shot him three times with his own gun. His daughter, Adrienne “Addy” Chin in a telephone interview from her home in Memphis, Tennessee, this morning says the family is happy that the case has been solved and sentence imposed, but there will never be an end to the great loss that they suffered.

Adrienne Chin, Daughter of Philip Chin (Via Phone)

“The family feels that justice has been served and we are happy that a formidable closure was formed and in a timely fashion… At the time, we just didn’t know what to think or what to do, but right now the pain is going away slowly, but we will never forget him as the person and the dad that we had.”

Chin was a member of the United Democratic Party National Campaign Committee. Today, the Collet Area Representative and chairperson of the U.D.P.’s Public Relations Committee, Patrick Faber, spoke about the courts’ ruling in the case.

Patrick Faber, Chair, U.D.P. Public Relations Committee

“We are happy to the extent that justice has been served. It is not often that these cases are solved and carried all the way through, so we are very happy that justice has been served. We are not saying that we are happy to see anybody sentenced to death, certainly that is not the case, but we are satisfied that the law has taken its course. I am sure that both the convicted have had their say in court and they have had their due process and the outcome, we are very satisfied. “

Jacqueline Woods

“Do you believe that these men will ever be put to death?”

Patrick Faber

“Well the way things operate in Belize that might be a slim chance, but again that too is a part of the process and they have a right to appeal before the lowering of their sentences. And as long as the letter of the law is followed, at the end of the day those of us in the United Democratic Party will be satisfied. So if it is cut down later on so be it, as long as it follows the due process.”

Both Harris and Slusher have twenty-one days to appeal the sentence. However, there are no indications so far that they wish to do so.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Kirk Anderson declined an on camera interview but told News 5, quote, “We believe that justice has been served.” Harris and Slusher now join seven other inmates on death row at the Hattieville prison. The last man to be hanged in Belize was Kent Bowers in 1985 for the murder of Robert Codd. News 5′s attempts to obtain comment from the defence attorneys, Antoinette Moore and Jeremy Courtenay, were unsuccessful.

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