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Dec 7, 2016

No Justice for Joshua Abraham; Accused Killers Set Free

While police are yet to conclude that a two-year old girl from Saint Matthews was murdered, in the courtroom today, two murder suspects of another child walked free. The case fell apart when the prosecution could not produce the evidence to convict Randy Green and Michael Young for the murder of the then seven-old Joshua Abraham. The child was killed on September twenty-first 2011 on Victoria Street, Belize City. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The senseless murder of nine-year-old Joshua Abraham on Independence Day 2011 stunned the nation.  Thousands of Belizeans had taken to the streets of the Old Capital and were participating in the annual Uniform Parade when gunfire erupted on Victoria Street.  That deadly shootout involved rival Belize City groups.  Caught in the crossfire was an innocent minor who had momentarily stepped away from the sidelines to purchase refreshments at a nearby store.  Today, his alleged killers are both free men.

 

Joshua Abraham

Christelle Wilson, Attorney for Randy Green

“Today the prosecution had indicated to the court that they would close the case against Mr. Randy Green and Michael Young who were accused of committing murder.  However, today she indicated to the court that she doesn’t have any witnesses to call and she was prepared to close her case and so I made a no case submission on behalf of the first accused and Ms. Baja Shoman made a no case submission on behalf of the second accused.”

 

After five years on pretrial detention, Randy Green and Michael Young had no case to answer to and were free to go home, providing they had no other outstanding matters before the courts.

 

Christelle Wilson

Christelle Wilson

“The essence of our no case submission was that after hearing all the evidence that was called by the prosecution, they had initially called seven witnesses, none of those witnesses had ever identified the two accused men as being the persons who caused the death, who shot and killed Joshua Abraham on the twenty-first of September, 2011.  This case was a very old case, you know, so they had ample time to gather their evidence and bring it and today we put in that there was no case to answer and the judge upheld that application.”

 

The disappointing outcome certainly isn’t the closure that the family of the slain nine-year-old was expecting.  In his memory, a restored playground had been dedicated to Joshua Abraham; however, what his parents both anticipated was for justice to prevail in a court of law.

 

Christelle Wilson

“The witnesses who normally witness a crime, for whatever reason, whether they have passed away, they are sick, out of the country or just out of fear, choose not to come to court seems to be a cycle that reoccurs.  But the prosecution, there is statute that allows a prosecutor to tender statements from witnesses who are unable to come and give evidence in court.  So there are provisions to take care of that, you know, to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  What the prosecution in this case, and it’s to no fault of hers, she needed the recorder of the statement to be here to say that, “I recorded these statements on such and such a date from these persons.”  And he is unfortunately out of the country.” 

 

Reporter

“Couldn’t she have asked for an adjournment?”

 

Christelle Wilson

“She did ask for an adjournment and the court has given her ample time, adjournment after adjournment and the court was gracious enough to would have extended another adjournment but she came to the court today and she indicated that she was prepared to close her case in light of not being able to call the recorder, et cetera.  So she was done and we went and we took that opportunity to enter our no case submission and we were successful.”

 

Notwithstanding the conclusion of the matter, Green and Young were kept in detention for an additional half an hour before being allowed to leave the lockup.

 

Christelle Wilson

“They were very aggravated to hear the judge say that as long as there is nothing else, no other charge that you are being held at the Kolbe Foundation for, you can go home.  So they were brought back over to the holding cell for their records to be checked and they found that there was no other charge.  They were strictly on remand for this murder case of which they have been acquitted but we were informed that some person in the police department wanted to speak with them and so they were held for an additional thirty minutes for which they were aggravated because they had no idea why they were being held or what the police department would want with them.  However, as you all noted that later we got a call and they were free to leave and the men exited the courthouse.”

 

The acquittal of the pair is another exoneration in a growing list of acquittals over the past three weeks. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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