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Jul 15, 2009

Harrison Smith freed of Murder charges

It was a busy day for the courts and in the Supreme Court, twenty-six year old Harrison Smith won the distinction of twice beating the murder rap. The latest case was today when at twelve noon, Justice Adolph Lucas was forced to discharge a jury of twelve persons. In 2007, Smith was charged for the murder of car washer, forty-seven year old Lionel Welcome aka “Sleepy”, who was stabbed fatally to the heart near the Belize Bank. In the course of trial, Justice Lucas cautioned that three witnesses called by the prosecution had been unable to identify Smith as the man who had stabbed Welcome. Smith’s trial, however, came to an abrupt end after testimony by Linden Sutherland, a Security Guard, who gave evidence on the stabbing of Welcome in the early hours of December twelfth, 2007. Sutherland testified that he was standing at the corner of Orange and Albert Streets and saw a man with a knife in his hand. When the Prosecutor, Trienia Young, pressed Sutherland for more on the man, he admitted he knew Smith from prison. The judge interjected and the witness had to discontinue his testimony. Lucas explained that what Sutherland said was highly prejudicial and concluded that “the nature of the charge should be taken into consideration and that he, as the judge should decide whether or not the trial should continue…”. With that Justice Lucas called in and discharged the jurors. Smith was also freed of the charge but remanded to the Hattieville Prison.

In the other case in 2007, Smith was accused of the murder of Renato Logan which occurred in February 2006 in Taylor’s Alley. Logan had been shot at about twelve-thirty a.m., and he was picked up and rushed to the hospital by police who claimed that before he passed away, Logan claimed Smith had shot him. But he was acquitted of that murder two months prior to being arraigned for Welcome’s murder.

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