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Jun 13, 2012

After 5 years locked up, 2 men freed of murder charge

William Padgett

In the courts, two men who were on remand for almost five years have been freed of Murder charges. Thomas Caretella and William Padgett were accused of fatally shooting Santa Elena Taxi driver, fifty-one year old Leopold Austin Waight, on August thirty-first, 2007. But after three and a half hours of deliberation, a jury of twelve unanimously found them not guilty when the case concluded before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Belmopan Supreme Court.   Their decision to acquit the men came after hearing the testimony of an accomplice, Rafael Martinez, who had been given immunity by the then D.P.P. Lutchman Sooknandan, to become a crown witness. Martinez, told the court that both accused men visited him on the day of the murder and they planned to rob a gas station, however, when they saw Waight driving in their direction, they decided to rob him instead. The men reportedly stopped the taxi, but on the way to their destination, one of them pulled out a gun and ordered Waight to drive into a feeder road. In the deserted area, Waight was robbed of his wallet and cash.

Thomas Caretella

Martinez further testified that Waight was hit on the head, shot behind the head and lower back then left to die. But in court, both accused men had alibis; Padgett claimed he was working at Hyde’s Meat Shop while Caretella said he was at work with his father in Santa Elena Town at the time of the murder. Their attorneys Simeon Sampson and Ellis Arnold also submitted to the court that Martinez was given immunity for his testimony and that nothing he said should be trusted since he was an accomplice. Prosecutor Sheneiza Smith called three other witnesses before closing her case. But none of them could convince the jury, who found the men not guilty of Murder.

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4 Responses for “After 5 years locked up, 2 men freed of murder charge”

  1. Storm says:

    God knows the truth here, and I hope someone metes out gentle justice to the killers.

    Someone committed the murder, because the man is still dead — and now that killer is back on the streets, and experience says he will destroy another life one day. That price is too heavy for our society to pay.

  2. Al says:

    Here are two new candidates for the top pooice position. They know all the devious ways the criminal beat the system and can stop them in their tracks. I vote for these two and for the Gentle brothers. I am being funny, but it is because I am frustrated with the system

  3. cayo citi says:

    dont worry!!!! guys street justice will deal with these two scum bags………days numbered…we noh need uno back into the society

  4. Shel says:

    How certain are u that they are guilty. Before you judge show ur facts and take them to court. Follow up. Don’t just talk from what the news dishes out. Cayo Citi days numbered? U more than them sound like the scum bag, we DON’T need you in our society.

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