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Jun 18, 2018

Jeweller Manuel Pacheco is Arraigned for Murder of his Neighbor

Manuel Pacheco

Fifty-six-year-old jeweller Manuel Pacheco, a resident of Cockburn Lane, Belize City, appeared in court today for arraignment. Pacheco, whose business is located on East Collet Canal near to Pound Yard Bridge, is accused with the murder of fifty-year-old Jose Manuel Villanueva.  He appeared before the Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser this morning having spent the weekend in detention. Pacheco is not eligible for bail and was given August ninth as his next court date.  Villanueva was murdered on Thursday evening, at around six o’clock in the yard to his house which is also located next to Pacheco’s jewellery shop. Police found multiple expended shells in his yard and Villanueva had several gunshot injuries. The shooting is believed to have been triggered by a long standing dispute between Pacheco and Villanueva. In court, Pacheco was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley, who told the press that there is no evidence as yet against his client.


Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“The charge is one of a capital offense.  Magistrate’s courts in Belize are not allowed under the crime control law and ancient tradition not to grant bail, unless, of course, there was an admittance by police that they have not had any kind of information.  So Mr. Pacheco, most unfortunately, has been remanded until August out of a matter which I guess by now you would have done the rounds and found out that an unfortunate argument escalated and he felt he had in the circumstance no choice but to resort to protecting himself by his license firearm, you know. Here is an incident in which one man goes to prison and another goes to the cemetery and the families, of course, are going to be left to pick up the pieces for a long time.”



“What sort of facts at least, in the summary phase right now, are police saying that they have against the client?”


Jose Villanueva

Richard Bradley

“The police are saying that… I will read to you what they say.  The surveillance footage was viewed and obtained, which is not saying anything.  It doesn’t say that on the surveillance camera information is enough for us to have brought a charge.  They say that they have recorded a statement from an eyewitness, but my information from the family, from family members is that in fact eyewitnesses on behalf of Mr. Pacheco have not even been approached for a statement.  Other than that, the police are merely saying, as they are required to say, that Mr. Villanueva, and our sympathies go out to his family, received about three or four injuries to his arm and to his abdomen and to his side or something of that nature.  So there may have been more than one shots fired, in relation to the matter, but nothing much is being said in terms of the police report.”



“Sir, I know that at this stage attorneys loathe to get into particular details, but the family of the victim has asserted strongly that they don’t believe in any way that Mr. Villanueva threatened Mr. Pacheco’s life for him to have resorted to the use of his license.  Do you care to make any responding comments?”


Richard Bradley

“I would say that fortunately in our justice system the facts will be brought to court and we will all get an opportunity to hear exactly what transpired as best we can from witnesses on both sides.  But certainly we are of the view that the charge of murder is a bit excessive in the circumstance.  He ought to have been charged for manslaughter and granted bail.  But time will take care of that matter.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Jeweller Manuel Pacheco is Arraigned for Murder of his Neighbor”

  1. Alex Lo says:

    Let justice prevail!! Goodness, people seem to have little regards for human life.

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