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Home » Crime » Charges finally filed in diver’s death … 7 months too late
Nov 28, 2006

Charges finally filed in diver’s death … 7 months too late

Story PictureIt was a vacation tragedy even more dramatic than that chronicled in the film “Open Water.” And like that dive disaster, the events that unfolded in October 2005 off Belize’s coast resulted in unnecessary death. At that time, authorities made a great effort to show their concern and commitment to punishing those responsible. This week they finally made a feeble attempt at legal action … And as News Five’s Janelle Chanona discovered, it turned out to be too little, too late.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
Thirteen months after twenty-eight year old Abigail Brinkman died during a dive trip near Silk Caye in the waters of southern Belize, this week police charged two men with the crime.

Late Tuesday afternoon, twenty-six year old dive master Vance Cabral and his employee, twenty-four year old Mark Anthony Tucker, appeared before Magistrate Patrick Rosado to answer to a total of fourteen counts of negligent endangerment to life.

But the judge threw out the case in a matter of minutes after Tricia Pitts, attorney for the accused, pointed out that because the charges are not indictable the statute of limitations takes effect, meaning that the police would have had to charge Cabral and Tucker within six months of the incident. Because the cops waited so long, the case was over before it began.

The charges stem from events that took place on October twenty-second 2005 when Brinkman and nine other tourists headed out to Silk Caye aboard Advance One for a day of diving and snorkelling. Cabral stayed on the caye with the snorkelers, but Tucker left with Brinkman, thirty-eight year old Nancy Masters, fifty year old John Bain, and thirty-four year old Yutaka Mayeda for a nearby dive site. At some point the engine stalled and the boat started to drift. Tucker has maintained that

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