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Jul 27, 2018

Tyrone Meighan, Orel Leslie and Brandon Baptist Acquitted of Murder, Again

Orel Leslie, Tyrone Meighan and Brandon Baptist

Not guilty! That was the verdict delivered late this afternoon in the murder case against Tyrone Meighan, Orel Leslie and Brandon Baptist for the 2012 murder of B.D.F. soldier James Norales. The decision was handed down by Supreme Court Justice Colin Williams in an intermittent trial for the past three years.  It is the second time that the men have been acquitted of the murder of Norales whose body was found at the junction of George Price Highway and Faber’s Road, riddled with bullets on November twenty-third 2012.  They were freed in the first trial in 2015 and today, they beat the murder rap for the second time. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The prosecution’s main witness in the trial against Tyrone Meighan, Orel Leslie and Brandon Baptist, was Aron Paquil, cousin to James Norales and former friend of the accused men. Paquil’s evidence was purely circumstantial as Justice Colin Williams explained that Paquil was also a suspect. He said that Paquil has an interest to serve, an interest not only to attribute responsibility to the three men but diminish his role in the murder. Paquil’s evidence stands on its own. There is no collaboration which is cause for concern. The only support that Paquil’s evidence received was from the pathologist and firearm examiner with respect to the existence of a point thirty-two pistol and a nine millimeter firearm- both weapon he said he has held. His testimony did not prove that the men were at Linda Vista Street socializing with Norales. Paquil’s story that there was a threat made on Norales’s life was difficult to believe. He showed no signs of concern that Norales got into a car with the men who allegedly threatened him.

From the dock the three men smiled when Justice Williams concluded reading his two hour judgment with a ‘not guilty’ verdict.


Tyrone Meighan

Tyrone Meighan, Acquitted of Murder

“The first thing that comes to mind is that God is good. You can’t never ever turn your back on God because God is good. Six years of this. Experience is very, very, serious. You know you are fighting for your life on the line, it is your life. It is not to play. It is a job for them but life for us. Being there, sitting there in the dock seat I was nervous a little bit but I kept confidence on my lawyer. My lawyers are always there and I recommend these lawyers because they go for nine years. They don’t stop for the nine years. They do their submissions, their case; everything good. Take care right.”


Mieghan now returns to his home on Banak Street. So does Leslie; he too will return to his home on Linda Vista Street. As for Baptist….


Hipolito Novelo

“Any comment?”


James Norales

Brandon Baptist, Acquitted of Murder

“All I know who Jah Bless, no man curse you know.”


He will return to the Belize Central Prison. Baptist is on remand on another murder charge. The three men were represented by Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold, Attorneys Anthony Sylvestre and Bryan Neal. The crown was represented by Director of Public Prosecution Senior Counsel Cheryl-Lynn Vidal and Senior Crown Counsel Sheiniza Smith. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


The three men were first acquitted of the murder in October 2015 by Justice Traodio Gonzalez. However, the Office of the Public Prosecution appealed the matter and successfully convinced the Court of Appeal to order a retrial which commenced earlier this year and concluded today with the release of the men.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Tyrone Meighan, Orel Leslie and Brandon Baptist Acquitted of Murder, Again”

  1. Hatari says:

    Well . . . Once Again the PD & prosecutors have failed a victim and US! Can’t say if the men are guilty or not because I wasn’t there BUT I can say that GOB has failed US!

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