Dorian Pakeman Finally in Court; One Charge Read for Death of Dean Dawson
Wednesday is the thirty-fifth birthday of the Government of Belize’s chief press officer, Dorian Pakeman. But today, the man accused of causing the traffic fatality that took the life of a Biscayne mechanic, Dean Dawson, back in March of 2016, finally appeared in court for it. Pakeman was read only one charge: causing death by careless conduct. There was no objection to bail, and tonight the Ladyville resident is at home awaiting the next steps. His attorney says that while he is remorseful for what happened, the public cloud of scandal that has followed him from day one appears to be overblown. Aaron Humes has coverage of today’s arraignment.
“This is a life that we are talking about. Dean had family members that loved him; he has kids and he is not an animal, he’s not a dog. It’s not like you knock down a dog and leave him on the roadside. So I hope that the government and the respective authorities look into this matter and deal with it as urgently as possible.”
Aaron Humes, Reporting
The road to today’s arraignment of Dorian Pakeman took nine months and many interesting turns. What started out as a simple but tragic traffic accident became much more, such as when police uncovered what appeared to be a damning piece of evidence: that Pakeman had a substance alleged to be cocaine in his blood stream, and that there was an attempt to tamper with his victim, Dean Dawson’s, blood to show him as equally culpable.
“Can you comment on the substance that was allegedly found in Pakeman’s blood?”
ACP Edward Broaster, Regional Commander, Rural Eastern Division [File: September 12th, 2016]
“We have gotten back a certificate from the chemist which certified that cocaine was found in Mr. Pakeman’s blood. We have investigation ongoing at this time as it pertains to the alleged tampering of the sample which was taken from the deceased, Mister Dean Dawson at the morgue and transported to the Forensic Lab. So there is an investigation as it pertains to that, given the results of that test.”
“What was being done to tamper with it?”
ACP Edward Broaster
“The sample, according to the chemist, had concentration of ethanol which is impossible for any human being to consume.”
“So who would have been in charge or responsible for that vial with blood, to be able to tamper with it before it reached the lab?”
ACP Edward Broaster
“I can tell you who is responsible for the vial after the sample was taken and it to have been transported to the lab and that would have been the scenes of crime person.”
“So a member of the police department?”
ACP Edward Broaster
“That’s a civilian staff; a member of the scenes of crime.”
The revelation was enough for Prime Minister Dean Barrow to send Pakeman on indefinite, unpaid leave. But even when it seemed only a matter of time before charges were laid, Police and the Forensic Service were back and forth trying to satisfy certain directives from Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. Finally, this afternoon, police dropped a bombshell: Pakeman, so far at least, is only charged with causing death by careless conduct. His attorney, Bryan Neal, says she was apparently only satisfied to the point of laying that one charge.
Bryan Neal, Attorney for Dorian Pakeman
“Clearly, the D.P.P. looked at the evidence; she had a lot of time. I think that no one can disparage the reputation of our Director of Public Prosecutions – she is a fine lady. Having looked at the evidence, she, in her prerogative, decided this was the only charge to bring. So all that talk that we heard in the media before about substances in his system – we don’t know where that came from, because now having looked at the entire case…”
“Police confirmed that, sir.”
“But having looked at the entire case, why is it that the D.P.P. only charged him with causing death by careless conduct.”
Neal also made the point that at the end of the day, a life has been lost, and his client is remorseful.
“What I want to say publicly, and I think it has not been said before, is to say sorry to the family of Dean Dawson. These accidents, as they often do, claim the lives of people; it is a problem we are having in our country. My client has instructed me specifically that he is sorry for what has happened; he intends to the fullest extent that he can to compensate the family at a later date, after we’re done with these charges. But the main thing is to reach out to this family and say a sincere sorry on behalf of my client, for what has happened.”
Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.
Pakeman made bail of three thousand five hundred dollars and he returns to court on March tenth, 2017. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer ordered that he cannot leave the country without first notifying the court that he must travel, but he was not asked to surrender his passport. After Pakeman met bail, he avoided the press and left court environs without giving public comment.