Accused in Traffic Death of 6 Year-Old Unable to Make High Bail
Forty-three-year-old Albert Martinez of Western Paradise, Belize District is at the Central Prison this evening, unable to make a whopping twenty-thousand-dollar bail set for six traffic related offenses in the death of six-year-old Ashanti Pollard on Sunday night. Martinez was read three indictable offenses of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, and driving without due care and attention. The security officer additionally pleaded not guilty to charges of driving an unlicensed motor vehicle, displaying an unauthorized license plate not issued by the traffic department, and driving a motor vehicle without a valid Belizean driver’s license. The court prosecutor argued against bail, citing the age of the victim and the defendant’s long history before the court of traffic offenses. That history sealed his fate despite the arguments of attorney Anthony Sylvestre, as Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith set bail at twenty thousand dollars. Initially, ten thousand of that sum was cash and the rest a signed surety, but when complaints arose that it was too steep, it was reduced to two thousand cash and the rest a surety including a land document. Martinez is not to apply for any other travelling documents as his passport is reported lost and could not be surrendered to the court. As well, he is not to leave the jurisdiction without the court permission. As of this evening, Martinez was in custody after being unable to make the bail. Ashanti’s grieving family appeared at court and Martinez’s mother spoke with them after the hearing. On Sunday evening, Ashanti was walking on Faber’s Road with her mother when she was knocked down by Martinez’s who was the driver of a silver Toyota Corolla vehicle. Martinez’s case was adjourned for a date in April.