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Mar 23, 2017

Court Rules that Killer Osmar Sabido was Provoked by His Victim

Osmar Sabido

A conviction of murder in the case of Osmar Sabido, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 for brutally stabbing his girlfriend, has been reduced to manslaughter.  This afternoon before the Court of Appeal, attorneys Oscar Selgado and Leeroy Banner appeared before the bench where a decision was handed down that effectively commutes Sabido’s sentence.  According to the legal team, Justice Herbert Lord erred when he failed to acknowledge that evidence had indeed been provided to the court indicating that Sabido had been provoked by Christie Carrasco.  Selgado told the media that his client had sworn under oath during his murder trial that he was aggravated by Carrasco, who told him that she was seeing someone else, before reportedly attacking Sabido with a knife.  That evidence was never taken into consideration when he was found guilty of murder.


Oscar Selgado

Oscar Selgado, Attorney for Osmar Sabido

“We appealed.  Mr. Leeroy Banner and myself appealed on several grounds and one of the grounds was that the judge, the learned trial judge did not take into consideration the evidence which showed that Osmar Sabido was provoked and provocation, the defense of provocation was substantive in our defense.  The Court of Appeal dwelled on provocation a lot and in its ruling held that in fact the judge erred in not considering provocation to the full extent, thereby allowing a partial defense to Osmar Sabido.  Provocation reduces, it’s a partial defense which reduces the charge of murder to manslaughter and the court has so held that the evidence displayed that in fact Osmar Sabido was provoked and the court has reduced, in its discretion, exercised its discretion to reduce the charge or the conviction from murder to manslaughter and has set June fifth as the date for which the court will hear, the Court of Appeal will hear legal arguments from our side, on mitigation, as to what is the appropriate sentence in terms of years of sentence for Osmar Sabido.  There is a lot of case history in Belize from our Court of Appeal which guides the court based on the circumstances of the act committed, [as to] how many years is appropriate.  And we will be dwelling on the fact that sentencing in the modern era now is not retribution per se, it’s more about rehabilitation.  What will it take to rehabilitate this convicted person…  We are looking at the fact that the court will consider what is appropriate to rehabilitate Osmar Sabido.”


Christie Carrasco

Isani Cayetano

“Can you share with us, if you are at liberty to do so, what provocation was it that led Osmar Sabido to this violent act?”


Oscar Selgado

“In the evidence that came before the trial judge, Osmar Sabido swore on oath that in fact Christie Carrasco, the deceased was the person who attacked him with a knife after she had disclosed to him that she had another man.  She was in another relationship.  That was one strong act of provocation and that led from his disclosure, his evidence to a physical altercation between them and that physical altercation is what sparked everything else that followed.”


The matter before the Court of Appeal resumes on June fifth, when Sabido’s lawyers will present additional arguments on mitigation.

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