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Mar 15, 2012

Akeem Thurton found Guilty of Attempted Murder of Rodwell Williams

Akeem Thurton

On the night of May thirty-first 2010, Rodwell Williams was shot as he left his law office on Albert Street. It turned near fatal and Williams, the law partner of the prime minister, underwent surgeries in Belize and in the US and has now fully recovered. Two persons were charged with his attempted murder; Ricky Valencia who has since been killed and Akeem Thurton whose trial came to an end today. Thurton gave a caution statement, placing himself at the scene on the night of the shooting, but said that Valencia was the one to pull the trigger. Following a voire dire, the caution statement was eventually admitted into evidence and sealed Thurton’s conviction. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin concluded the case, saying “I did not believe the statement of the accused.  I believe he shot Rodwell Williams and that he had the intention to kill Rodwell Williams.  The crown has proven the case beyond a reasonable doubt”. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Nineteen year old Akeem Thurton is tonight facing a minimum of eighteen years in prison after being found guilty of the attempted murder of attorney Rodwell Williams.  The verdict, the first to be delivered in a trial without jury, was handed down this morning by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin during a hearing which has had its share of adjournments.  While a sentence is yet to be delivered the story of the near fatal shooting of the prime minister’s law partner in 2010 is indeed sensational.  Williams was ambushed by two men, Akeem Thurton and Ricky Valencia, near the parking lot of his law firm Barrow & Williams where he was shot in the abdomen on May 31st, 2010.

Rodwell Williams

Following the ordeal Williams underwent several emergency surgeries at the Belize Healthcare Partners before being flown out of the country for further medical treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida.  During his absence his assailants were identified, arrested and charged for the crime of attempted murder.  What transpired following their indictment proved only to solidify Valencia’s criminal involvement as he was fingered as one of three robbers who executed a daring heist of Heritage Bank in Orange Walk Town several months later.

Ricky Valencia

While Valencia was the suspected triggerman in the murder of his accomplice, Noel Usher, on October 13th, 2011 he too met his fate at the hands of a hired gun on February twenty-second; a few weeks prior to the start of their attempted murder trial.  Valencia had been able to secure legal counsel while Thurton appeared in court undefended on two occasions, prompting an adjournment.  When the matter resumed Thurton was left to argue his case against the seasoned attorney.  During trial he repeatedly maintained his innocence, stating that while he was present at the scene of the crime he was not Williams’ shooter, placing the blame squarely on the deceased Valencia.  After testifying and vividly recounting the incident Williams maintained that he was shot by Thurton.

This morning after almost an hour of summary CJ Benjamin found Akeem Thurton guilty of attempted murder. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Sentencing has been deferred until March thirtieth because the CJ has ordered a social inquiry into Thurton’s background. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal prosecuted the case.

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16 Responses for “Akeem Thurton found Guilty of Attempted Murder of Rodwell Williams”

  1. Storm says:

    One down, a lot more to go.

    We need to clean up the streets of Belize from ALL the violent gangsters, and either hang them or put them away until they are old and feeble.

  2. Charlie Price says:

    Maybe this is what we needed all along…TRIAL BY JUDGE, to start cleaning the streets, so that the rest of us can live in peace!!!

  3. Rod says:

    Why was Roswell shot why did none of this info come out in the news we want to know why he was targeted was it drug related or what .

  4. Xtasy says:

    Who the hell cares about his background. Even if it’s his first shooting ever…..MAKE IT HIS DAMN LAST!!!

  5. Sports Fan says:

    Drug related you dumb fart. Please lock you keyboard so that you can’t type anything again. Very immature

  6. Buju says:

    This is a clear and strict message to all criminals!!!
    DO THE CRIME AND YOU WILL HAVE TO SPEND THE TIME!!!
    I am sad that Valencia is not here to face the music – he did a lot of bad thing to a lot of people.

    Finally some sort of justice in Belize!
    All power to the government for taking the bold step to reducing crime!!!

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    Not that i condone what this young man did.However there is a double standard system in Belize.The only reason this young man was convicted is because the victim was Rodwell Williams.Their are so many Belizeans that has been murdered and their familieshavn’t received justice.It seems to me that the laws in Belize only protects the affluent members of our society.

  8. Eye In The Sky says:

    How much you want to bet that Akeem will be as dead as Valencia before years end. Look at the photo of Rod W he has the look of a cold blooded gambino. This guilty sentence is just to prolong the suffering Akeem will undergo.

  9. JahKid says:

    Rod you will never change you continue being an idiot for life. I’m so sorry for your Mom to bring such a foolish human here on earth. Always negative. I hope when you eat you hang yourself upside down like rat bats because you don’t use your brains for constructiveness. May the Lord change your ways and make you a responsible human being. Love Yah!

  10. CEO says:

    Rod your comment is pretty dumb! It is never leagal to shoot anyone. If any of these vagrants had a problem with Williams they could have taken him to court.

    You need to also stand up against these undesireables in our society so we can purge them from our midst instead of writing crap like you just did. So are you suggesting that if it was drug related that Williams’ shooting then is justified? If this is what you are trying to say it was a very dumb comment and if it was not then what the heck are you trying to say?

  11. Earl Grey says:

    Send him to…THE PRISON FARM…aka, THE SUSTAINABLE REHABILITATION CENTER.

    There he can EARN HIS KEEP and CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY at NO COST TO TAX-PAYERS.

    We do not want to HAVE TO PROVIDE FREE ROOM & BOARD for the NEXT 25yrs+

    BUILD THE SUSTAINABLE REHABILITATION CENTER TODAY …FOR A BETTER TOMORROW!!!

  12. Earl Grey says:

    Rod may be CRAZY but he asks a good question…WHY WAS RODWELL SHOT???

  13. Bzeman says:

    Earl & Rod what would be a justifiable reason for someone to be shot the way Mr. Williams was?? Be careful guys…I am sure you would not be asking that question if it was one of your relatives or friends.

  14. Retired CEO says:

    The issue here has nothing to do with why he was shot. Why he was shot is totally irrelevant. The fact is that no human being should be subjected to such un-sensible violence. In my humbly opinion this appears to be a very good start for trials without jury. Now we must look to the future for more rapid trials without jurors. If this works, then it is good for the society and the justice system. With all said and done, perhaps there could be some further investigation to find out who sent and paid him to hit Mr. Williams. However, this sounds like some material for a book or a movie.

  15. A Jew says:

    Thurton deserved this sentence, our laws are in place to punish all those wrong doers whether it be killers, rapists, etc. I admit that the legal system is not always balanced for everyone, but at least we can say that Thurton will be locked up a good while. Valencia paid the price and Thurton will also serve his.

  16. PG resident says:

    who paid for the hit. it is like locking up the street drug pusher while the big boss is in his fancy lifestyle cooll one!!

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