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Feb 14, 2018

Norman Slusher Acquitted of Barbershop Murder Despite Oral Confession

Norman Slusher

In the Supreme Court today, there was a murder acquittal. Twenty-eight-year-old Norman Slusher was freed of the murder of Jason Canto. Canto, who was getting a trim at Dale’s Barber Shop on East Collet Canal, was the innocent target of two armed attackers in May of 2012, one of whom was never found. Businessman and patron Jose Shoman Junior was hailed for shooting the armed gunman with his own licensed weapon, allowing police to catch up to him later. Slusher was said to have confessed his role to police. But with two key witnesses unavailable, the case fell apart in court over the last eight days and today Slusher got his freedom after nearly six years on remand. News Five’s Aaron Humes has more on the conclusion of the case.

 

Jason Canto

Aaron Humes, Reporting

The death of Jason Canto, a Belize City man shot eight times and killed by armed attackers at Dale’s Barber Shop in May of 2012, was a shock to residents of the Old Capital, as he was not known to be involved in criminal activity. Shop owner Adriel Pelayo was also injured, while accused Norman Slusher was hit by return fire from businessman and shop patron Jose Shoman Junior, previously the target of a murder conspiracy plot. But twenty-eight year old Slusher, charged with murder, was acquitted by Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas today after his finding that Slusher had no case to answer. At least one other man was suspected of involvement but that person was never found. Prosecutor Crown Counsel Janelle Tillett was not able to rely on either Pelayo or Shoman as witnesses. The former is said to have died before trial and the latter refused to submit himself for testimony, making his police statement otherwise not admissible as evidence. The sole evidence available against Slusher was his own caution statement to police saying that he and another person attended the incident. After defense attorney Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson objected to the admissibility of the oral statement taken by a police sergeant, a trial within a trial was held and Slusher admitted to having been shot while taking part in the incident. The statement was ruled admissible, but in ruling on the no-case submission Justice Lucas found that a prima facie case had not been established against Slusher for causing unlawful harm to Canto. There was no other evidence, even circumstantial, against Slusher, and the Crown’s case was fatally wounded by Pelayo and Shoman not being available to testify to what they saw. With that Justice Lucas told Slusher he was free to go, weeks shy of his twenty-ninth birthday. Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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1 Response for “Norman Slusher Acquitted of Barbershop Murder Despite Oral Confession”

  1. Jason says:

    Dead man walking – too bad he waited 6 years to get out to get avenged by the family

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