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Jan 10, 2018

Krismar Espinosa Found Not Guilty of Keon Swasey Murder in Re-Trial

Krismar Espinosa

The fate of twenty-eight-year-old Krismar Espinosa of Orange Walk was today in the hands of a twelve-member jury. Espinosa was tried for the second time for the murder of fellow Central Prison inmate Keon Swasey on Christmas Eve, 2009. Swasey was stabbed in the chest twice with a homemade kitchen knife and the murder was pinned on Espinosa, who was on remand for a murder charge in the death of a P.G. woman in Orange Walk in 2007. He was convicted of manslaughter in that case and jailed for sixteen years. Espinoza was previously tried before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, but acquitted following a no-case submission. The decision was reversed on appeal at the Court of Appeal in 2014 and a new trial ordered. Justice Adolph Lucas and a jury heard testimony from the prison guards who witnessed the stabbing, though neither appeared clear as to what they saw from their vantage points. One said he witnessed a “punching” motion from Espinosa to Swasey, while the other claimed Espinosa approached Swasey from behind and made a “stabbing” motion at him. Espinosa gave an unsworn statement in his defense, stating that he was on his way to receive a phone call and was searched before and on returning to his cell, and nothing was found on him. He alleges that Swasey had ‘beef’ with a City gang and denied killing him, but claimed that he knew who did. According to Espinoza he fears for his life if he tells what he knows. Espinoza called another prison guard as a witness on his behalf. Crown Counsel Sherigne Rodriguez prosecuted and Espinoza is being defended by Anthony Sylvestre. This evening, the jury of seven women and five men found Krismar Espinosa, not guilty of both murder and manslaughter in the death of Keon Swasey. The jury retired at four minutes past four o’clock this afternoon. Espinosa has been returned to Central Prison to continue serving the remainder of his sentence on the manslaughter conviction for the death of Rachel Chun in Orange Walk. We’ll have more on this in Thursday’s newscast.

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