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Nov 16, 2018

Milton Maza and Eli Avila Sentenced to 35 Years behind Bars

Milton Maza & Eli Avila

The men who brutally stabbed attorney Richard Stuart and his wife, Maria to death in 2010 today learned how many more years they will be spending behind bars for the vicious crime. Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila were sentenced to thirty-five years in jail by Supreme Court Justice Colin Williams. On October nineteenth, the men were found guilty of the double murder of the well-known couple at their West Landivar home. In court Justice Williams decided to impose a fixed sentence based on several factors. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Richard & Maria Stuart

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Thirty-two-year-old Milton Maza and forty-three-year-old Eli Lopez Avila today exited the courtroom of Justice Colin Williams, knowing that their time behind bars has been extended to twenty-seven more years. On October nineteen, Maza and Avila were found guilty of the double murder of prominent Belizean attorney Richard and his wife, an established chartered accountant, Maria Stuart. The men have been behind bars since 2010 when the vicious murder took place. In his reasoning, Justice Williams considered several factors including time served, mitigating factors, and sentencing guidelines. The convicted killers displayed no signs of remorse or sympathy. They chose not to testify and lacked character witness to speak on their behalf. Maza was twenty-four years old while Avila was thirty-five when they committed the vicious murder. The men planned the home invasion which took a fatal turn. They journeyed several miles to rob and assault the Stuarts. Richard and Maria were stabbed a total of fifty times inside their own home, a sanctuary for their family in West Landivar, Belize City. Their children were in the house, and heard their parents’ screams as Maza and Avila stabbed them to death.  In handed down the sentencing, Justice Williams noted that the lone mitigating factor is that the defendants do not have any relevant antecedent history. However, the aggravating features such as the vicious nature of the murder and the fact that the victims’ pleas went unheeded outweighed the mitigating factors and as such were reflected in the sentence. Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila were sentenced to thirty-five years incarceration. Eight years were deducted due to time served. They will spend twenty-seven years in jail and undergo rehabilitation treatment.


Milton Maza

Hipolito Novelo

“Milton Maza anything to say?”


Milton Maza, Guilty of Murder

“They chanced me, I chanced. No forensics, no witness and they still want charge me for…”


The sentence takes effect from October nineteen, 2018. Maza and Avila were represented by attorneys, Oscar Selgado and Leeroy Banner respectively. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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