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Feb 1, 2019

An Accused Murderer is Granted Supreme Court Bail of $40,000

Curtis Lamb

An unusual hearing took place today in the Supreme Court in which an accused murderer, waiting for a decision for two years, got bail.  Curtis Lamb will be out on the streets of Belize City as early as Monday, after being granted bail in the sum of forty thousand dollars by Justice Herbert Lord this evening.  Lamb is a prime suspect in the stabbing death of Justin Roches which occurred on August third, 2011.   Since then he has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison and despite the conclusion of his trial on August tenth, 2016, Lamb has been languishing in jail without a decision being handed down in the matter.  This afternoon, attorney Anthony Sylvestre submitted before the Supreme Court that the accused had been awaiting a ruling from the now-retired Justice Troadio Gonzalez.  Sylvester also stated that Lamb has remained in detention for an additional two years and three months after the trial ended, not knowing his fate since a decision is still pending.  Crown Counsel Riis Raymond Cattouse could not object to bail being granted because the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution is still waiting to hear from the Supreme Court whether the retired judge will return to deliver a verdict or if a retrial will be ordered.

 

Anthony Sylvester

Anthony Sylvester, Attorney for Curtis Lamb

“The petitioner, the accused, he has been on remand since August 2011.  Our constitution provides that a person is to be tried within a reasonable time, but the trial includes not only the given or the taking of evidence but a decision is to be made whether by a jury or by a judge and so that wasn’t done.  He was, there was evidence taken in July and August 2016.  The decision whether the accused is guilty or not, that hasn’t been given, it hasn’t been made as yet and so based on, you know, acceptable principles of law, the judge, Mr. Justice Lord, granted bail.”

 

Reporter

“There was strenuous opposition from the prosecutor in that the prosecutor was saying that the judgment might be delivered sometime but he was unable to tell the court when the judgment would be delivered.  So do you think that that weighed heavily on Justice Lord’s mind why he allowed your petitioner to be released on bail?”

 

Anthony Sylvester

“Well, as was urged and explained in the court, ordinarily if a person is charged with murder and he applies for bail, the prosecution could say, “Listen, there’s no need to give him bail because he could be tried two months, three months, a month later.”  Here, the uncertainty of when a decision would be given that certainly would then tilt in the favor of petitioner, the accused, and so yes, I do believe that that would have been an operating factor, a deciding factor in the accused being granted bail.”

 

Reporter

“Alright, and breakdown for us, finally, how there is the possibility that a retrial may have to be ordered in this case.  How would the court system go about doing that?”

 

Anthony Sylvester

“Well, I haven’t wrapped my mind around that as yet as to how a retrial, because what, there are specific statutory provisions which sets out when a retrial is to be ordered and as it relates to like, say a jury trial, if for instance you have a jury that’s unable to, after the expiration of whether two hours or four hours, come to a decision of either guilty or not guilty then that is what you would call a hung jury.  I don’t think, I could be wrong but I don’t believe that a similar scheme applies in a non-jury trial in respect to a judge sitting alone.  So I’m not sure if that is at all possible.”

 

Curtis Lamb must meet strict conditions while out on bail and must report to the Raccoon Street Police Station three times a week.


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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