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Jul 4, 2013

In spite of detailed confessions, murder suspects found not guilty

On the morning of July sixth, 2008, the bodies of Michael and Donna Hill were found in bushes close to their home in Cristo Rey Village, Cayo District. They were both shot at close range; one of their vehicles, laptops and personal items and money had been stolen. Police detained Jodean Vidal and Michael Lamb. According to the police, Lamb confessed to going to the Hill’s residence along with Vidal where they lay-waited the couple, tied them before taking them into the bushes and shooting them. Lamb also took the police to the place where the stolen vehicle had been hidden, to his mother’s house for the keys and other items taken from the residence. He also pointed out to police a car that Vidal had purchased with money taken from the Hills. After his statement was shown to Vidal, police say that he also admitted that he had gone to the house and tied up the Hills and that they later shot one each. He took police to retrieve the Hill’s firearm and told them where they could have recovered the lap top computers. The case against Hill and Vidal commenced on June twenty-fourth before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in the Belmopan Supreme Court. Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal prosecuted the case. Since the confessions of the accused were the only evidence against them, the trial began with voir dires to determine their admissibility. Those voir dires concluded Wednesday.   This morning, the trial judge ruled all the confessions inadmissible. He was of the view that the officers involved in the investigation had deprived Lamb, then seventeen at the time of the killing, of his constitutional rights. In relation to Vidal, he was of the view that his claim to have been brutalized by the police was somewhat substantiated by the description of events given by the police officers themselves. The judge said that he also had concerns about the techniques used by the police during the course of the investigation. Since the only evidence against them were the confessions, the judge later directed the jury to return formal verdicts of not guilty and discharged both accused.  Vidal is currently serving an eight year sentence for Use of Deadly Means of Harm with intent to cause grievous harm for an incident in September of 2007 when he assaulted a female with a two by four piece of lumber. And if you are wondering, Jodean Vidal is not related to the D.P.P.

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5 Responses for “In spite of detailed confessions, murder suspects found not guilty”

  1. Jerry says:

    What a total travesty of justice. What is going on? There was a wealth of evidence to convict these two murderers. They were seen driving around in the Hills car. They had the Hill’s property in their homes. They bought a new car with the money they stole.
    There is something going on here. There was so much evidence against these torturers and murderers. God help Belize if this is not appealed.

  2. Initiate says:

    My goodness, what is Vidal related to then ?? Something wrong here.

  3. Al says:

    What!!!!!!, are you kidding me. The laws in Belize needs to be overhauled and quickly. The law is against law abiding citizens and is in favor of the murdering idiots. These two people were killed the killer knew where every thing taken in the robbery was, and took the police to them.
    So all these delinquents have to do is give a statement and they walk, this will become what the criminals do to beat the system.
    This is a total shame, two decent law abiding people are dead, their only crime is having something of value that these two losers wanted and not have to work to get. What is wrong with this justice system, it seems so hopeless in Belize.

  4. Jerry says:

    And what surprises me even more is the almost total lack of outrage by the general population. Are they just going to sit back and accept this verdict? Is the DPP not going to be questioned as to why she didn’t put any more evidence forward?
    Something stinks here…

  5. ragamuffin says:

    Crimminals seem to get off easily whenever this judge presides over a case. Check the records.

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