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May 17, 2019

Will Zena Armstrong Face a Murder Charge for the Stabbing Death of Ana Villanueva?

Zena Armstrong

Charges may be upgraded for Zena Armstrong, who was charged earlier this week for the manslaughter of a Corozal teen. In the wake of Sunday’s stabbing death of nineteen-year-old Ana Villanueva, her family and friends, as well as the public, took to social media to express their discontent with the instruction by the Director of Public Prosecution to charge her accused killer with the lesser crime of manslaughter. Many are of the opinion, given the eyewitness account by a friend of the deceased, that the crime was premeditated. But according to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, there are some missing pieces as it relates to the knife being introduced and whether the witness actually saw when the deceased was stabbed. Those, among other things, are outstanding in the case file that was initially forwarded to the D.P.P. On Thursday, the Police Department issued a release assuring the family and the public that the department acts on evidence. Today, Williams clarified the position and set aside concerns that the lesser charge was due to Armstrong’s ties to a senior police officer.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Based on what they had obtained from the one eyewitness that gave a statement as well as the confession gave by the accused person. And so because of that, they did what we would normally do which is to consult with the office of the Director of Public Prosecution. As you would know that they would be the one who would be charged to prosecute this matter and even to advise the police on further investigation. So based on what we had at the time in the file, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution directed that we proceed for now with the manslaughter charge so as not to release the young lady free of any charge and gave the investigators further work to be done. And once those further works are completed, then the file will be sent back to her with the further work and a final determination will be made as to whether or not the D.P.P. will upgrade the charge from manslaughter to murder. You will know that section 20 Subsection 2 of the constitution does give the D.P.P. that power to be able to indict. This is not the indictment stage; this is just the charging stage. What will count will be what the D.P.P. indicts her after the preliminary inquiry. So we can go through at this stage with the manslaughter and at the PI, if there is sufficient evidence, the D.P.P. can then indict for murder. So if it is that the evidence exists then based on the investigation, I am sure that the D.P.P. is going to do that. But to say that the decision was made because the accused has some relative in the police; that is far from the truth. I do not operate like that and I am sure, as God made Moses, the D.P.P. does not operate like that. So we can all rule that part out.”


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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