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Jun 13, 2013

She killed her husband, Pook’s case taken to Appeals Court

Viola Pook

Fifty-five year old Viola Pook, sentenced to life in prison for the New Year’s Eve murder of her common law husband in 2008, appeared in the Court of Appeal today represented by Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson.  In July 2011, Pook was convicted of killing forty-seven year old Orlando Vasquez after lighting him on fire inside their residence in Rancho Dolores Village.  The charges of attempted murder and grievous harm, which were initially brought against her, were subsequently upgraded to murder.  In the wake of the incident, police were called to the scene where they found Vasquez lying face up in front of the scorched kitchen with severe burns to his body.  He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.  Her case took further national prominence during the prison visit by Nation of Islam Leader, Louis Farrakhan.    Farrakhan asked a member of his community to help bring Pook’s case back to the court since there was a large part of her story that never made it to trial.  In court today, Attorney Simeon Sampson argued that the trial judge erred when he failed to seek assurance that the evidence entered by the investigating officer, Sgt. Aaron Zuniga, was obtained without inducement.

 

Simeon Sampson, Attorney for Viola Pook

Simeon Sampson

“The policeman, Sgt. Zuniga, said that when he approached my client she blurted out, when he asked her, “Da weh happen?”, “Da me ketch ahn fyah”  Confession, admission.  When the trial came on and when this confession was about to be led into evidence by Sgt. Zuniga the judge allowed him to rattle it off without satisfying himself, the judge, as the law requires.  That before the admission, alleged admission, was received into evidence he must satisfy himself beyond a reasonable doubt on the basis of evidence that that admission, “ah ketch ahn pan fyah” was not obtained by promise of favor, pressure or oppression or other irregular behavior on the part of the police.  The law says that the police must satisfy the judge, the section of the law is strict on that, before that type of evidence could be admitted, “look ya satisfy me that that evidence was obtained voluntarily” and that was all this was all about.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“And you’re contending that that was not done in the case of Viola Pook.”

 

Simeon Sampson

“It was not done.  No, it was not done.  It was not done.  So the judges are considering now what is going to be the consequence of this. The Court of Appeal has absolute power.  They could set her absolutely free or they can order a retrial and I am asking for a total acquittal.”

 

The bench has reserved its decision to a later date.

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2 Responses for “She killed her husband, Pook’s case taken to Appeals Court”

  1. Al says:

    So now Farrkhan can tell the Belize legal system what to do and how to do it. Wow in the absence of a strong leader every idiot can direct the path in Belize. No other country on earth can be led by any and every tom, dick and harry. Wake up people you are in deep trouble.

  2. CEO says:

    I saw one news coverage that said husband killer in regards to this case. Why cant we see a headline wife beater or wife killer as the headline. How many women have died at the hands of men and such goes unanswered.

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