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Jul 19, 2018

Charged for Shocking Double Murder, Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila Stand Trial

Milton Maza & Eli Lopez Avila

At least twenty-nine persons are on a witness list in the trial against the two accused men in the bloody stabbing of Attorney Richard Stuart and his wife, Maria. This includes the Stuarts housekeeper who was at the house when the murder occurred. Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila appeared before Supreme Court Justice Colin Williams for day-one of the trial today. The Stuarts were killed by intruders at their house in West Landivar in October 2010 as they returned from a social event.  The trial had been languishing in the system for years for a number of factors. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports from the court.


Richard & Maria Stuart

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Almost eight years later, the criminal trial against Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila began today before Supreme Court Justice Colin Williams. Investigators believe that it was Maza and Avila who viciously stabbed and murdered attorney Richard Stuart and his wife Maria at their home on Graduate Crescent in West Landivar, in October 2010. The couple had returned home after attending a Bar Association event, but little did they know that death was waiting for them inside their own home. The Stuarts were attacked by two men armed with knives. Their children and housekeeper were at home during the horrific attack.  During the trial, the Crown intends to call more than twenty witnesses. It is expected to conclude within two weeks. Criminal defense attorney Oscar Selgado was appointed to represent Maza.


Oscar Selgado

Oscar Selgado, Attorney for Milton Maza

“There were witnesses that were called today when the case began what we called procedural witnesses, witnesses who identified the bodies of both deceased. Two separate witnesses. Then there was the evidence from the house keeper at the time and a security guard who was employed by the University of Belize next door. The pace of the trial will be dictated by the crown as to how much witnesses that want to call in. There are about twenty nine that are on the indictment but that does not mean that they will call everybody. Some of them are only giving evidence that is merely collaborating what previous witnesses would have said. I would give and take two weeks.”


It’s been close to three thousand days since the Stuarts were murdered- three thousand days that their family has been unable to put the matter behind them. According to Selgado, one of the reasons for the extraordinary delay has to do with DNA evidence.


Oscar Selgado

“This case had a lot of technicalities to it in the sense that it is purported DNA evidence and the DNA testing had to go abroad to Jamaica. So it took some time for the state to had acquired the proper DNA testing and get the results back to Belize. Then the provisions of the law had required at that time that the persons who did the testing ought to have been in Belize. So the Crown has the obstacle of bringing the persons to Belize. But since the amendment of the Evidence Act, the person can now give his disposition as an expert through a third party of have it read into evidence by a third party. That is where it eased the burden on the crown.”


Maza and Avila were unable to obtain legal representation but since they allegedly committed a capital offense, the state was obliged to find legal representation for the accused duo. Attorneys were hesitant in taking up the case. This, according to Selgado, delayed the matter further.


Oscar Selgado

“And that is because understandably because the victims were people of standing of society. Richard was an attorney and his Maria was in fact an accountant of esteem stature. So there was some hesitant from attorneys to make representation.”


Avila is being represented by Attorney Leeroy Banner. The crown is being represented by counsels Rene Montero and Kileru Awich. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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 “Charged for Shocking Double Murder, Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila Stand Trial”

  1. amir says:

    they should just heng these two peace of shit ,,i bet nobody would miss them

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