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Nov 23, 2016

Ruling to Come in Murder Trial of Inmate Who Strangled Fellow Inmate

Lorenzo Smith Jr.

Thirty-one-year-old Lorenzo Smith Junior, an inmate at the Belize Central Prison, is accused of strangling his cellmate inside their lockup in October 2009.  The incident at the Tango Ten facility involving Alonzo Ek, initially appeared to be a case of suicide.  While there were no eyewitnesses, circumstantial evidence suggests that Smith may have been involved in the alleged murder since he was the only individual to have shared the cell with Ek at the time of his mysterious death.  According to Ramon Sandoval, Shift Commander on duty at the time, he received an emergency call from Smith while patrolling Tango Eight.  Sandoval was two blocks away from the scene of the incident and upon arrival, observed Smith’s hand on Ek’s neck, the other on his chest.  The prison officer then had to retrieve the key to gain entry into the cell.  An initial autopsy conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran was inconclusive; however, he deduced several days later that Ek died from manual strangulation.  He also noted that Ek’s body sustained multiple injuries, including a sharp wound to the head, concussion to the lips and bruises below the jaw, among other wounds.  Dr. Estradabran concluded that based on the number of injuries received, Ek had to have been involved in a physical struggle before his death, hence the reason for declaring the incident a murder.  This morning in the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez, the bench trial came to an end, following submissions made by Crown Counsel Kileru Awich.  Smith was represented by attorney Oscar Selgado.  Awich argued that no one else could have gained access to the cell besides Smith, with whom Ek shared the confined space.  Selgado, on the other hand, made a case that Sandoval, under cross examination, admitted that he did not make any physical checks of Ek upon arriving on his shift, therefore could not testify to the physical state of any of the inmates.  According to Selgado, all the elements that point to murder were not properly led by the prosecution during the trial.  He says that it was not until Dr. Estradabran visited the scene of the incident in person and made certain observations, was he later able to conclude that Ek could not have died as a result of suicide.  A ruling has been reserved for a later date.

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1 Response for “Ruling to Come in Murder Trial of Inmate Who Strangled Fellow Inmate”

  1. Stopthebs says:

    What a bunch of idiots ..can’t figure out if the guy commit suicide or was murdered..where’s the common sense. Oh I forgot common sense is not common..what’s Belize coming to.

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