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Jun 11, 2014

Court of Appeal upholds life sentence conviction of Kenrick Williams

Kenrick Williams

Kenrick Williams, sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a minor in 2004, will remain incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison after a panel of judges at the Court of Appeal upheld his conviction.  Williams appeared before the bench today where attorney Phillip Palacio argued on his behalf to have the sentence quashed.  Williams is accused of strangling sixteen-year-old Elia Gonzalez, a high school student with whom he was allegedly involved in a sexual relationship.  While he claims that the teenager died accidentally during a tryst, police contend that Gonzalez was choked and left in a clump of bushes near the Concepcion – Libertad Road.  Palacio made a case on several grounds, pointing out that the trial judge failed to give adequate directions to assist the jury with resolving issues of fact.  If a retrial is granted, it will be Williams’ third trial for murder.  In 2012, he gave a caution statement in which he told Corozal police that he waited for Gonzalez along the stretch of road.  When she disembarked from the bus, he threw his bicycle into a nearby bush.  When the couple met up they reportedly began kissing and engaged in rough intercourse during which Williams seemingly observed that Gonzalez was not breathing.  He said that he then removed her shoestring and tied it around her neck, before removing her jewelry and selling them in nearby Libertad.  In July of last year, following a retrial before Justice Denis Hanomansingh, Williams was found guilty of murder.  The sentence was retroactive to April sixteenth, 2012.

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