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Jul 31, 2019

Alleged Killer Cop Arraigned for Allyson Major’s Shooting Death

Kent Martinez

Fifteen days after a former teacher was shot to the back of his head in a police chase, a cop was arraigned for manslaughter by negligence.  According to a ballistic report, it was Corporal Kent Martinez who pulled the trigger leading to the death of Allyson Major Junior two weeks ago at the foot of the Swing Bridge in Belize City.  But according to police, Major reportedly threw a parcel of marijuana out the vehicle. There has been outrage at the killing and now also at the charge considered a mere slap on the wrist when a family has been left without a beloved breadwinner. After dashing out of court, the corporal is home safe having met bail of fifteen thousand dollars. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

That was accused killer cop, thirty-six-year-old Corporal Kent Martinez, escaping into a private vehicle to avoid the many cameras. He rushed out of the courthouse after posting bail this afternoon. Corporal Martinez, wearing a t-shirt with the phrase “I am not arguing, I am just explaining why I am right”, was this morning arraigned on a single charge of manslaughter by negligence. Martinez stands accused of killing thirty-six-year-old Allyson Major Junior by firing a bullet which caught the victim in the head on July sixteenth. Fifteen days after the death  of Major Junor at the foot of the swing bridge, Martinez was finally before the court. He appeared before Magistrate Michelle Trapp who read him the charge. Representing Martinez for the arraignment only was Attorney Richard Bradley.

 

Richard Bradley

Richard Bradley, Attorney

“I am not representing him on the substantive matter but I was in court this morning when Magistrate Michelle Trapp arraigned him on a single charge or allegation of manslaughter by negligence.  The charge which I know is going to outrage members of the Belizean public is a charge which under the law is a bailable offense meaning that unless there are very good circumstances a magistrate in order course of matters would grant an accused person bail for a certain offense. Manslaughter by negligence and causing death by careless conduct are bailable offence because if I can say it one more time, nobody is doing you a favour, you are entitled to bail because the constitution guarantees your freedom because bail is a right unless there are some good strong reasons why you ought not to be granted bail.”

 

Corporal Martinez was offered bail of fifteen thousand dollars plus two sureties of seven thousand five hundred dollars. Prosecutor Assistant Superintendent, Egbert Castillo told the court that there would be no objection to bail. Magistrate Trapp established specific bail conditions.

 

Allyson Major Jr.

Richard Bradley

 “In the magistrate court the Magistrate Trapp specifically asked the prosecution if they were raising any objections to her granting bail and the prosecution informed the magistrate that they would not be objecting to bail.  She granted bail in the sum of fifteen thousand dollars and she also imposed four conditions.  The corporal cannot leave the country unless he makes his special application for permission to the court. He is not to interfere with any of the witnesses in the matter. He is to surrender his passport to the court and he is to report to the Queen Street police station every week.”

 

The criminally charged cop faces a relatively minor charge for the shooting death of Major Junior. . That specific charge was levied against him after the police department received directives from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution. The ballistic report played a key role in establishing the charge.

 

Richard Bradley

“There is a problem in Belize in relation to these matters. I have heard from yesterday when word got out that the charge would be relatively minor charge that we need to take some things into account. So let me into one side say to you, that the public will not be satisfied with what they have heard. It is my understanding from the news that the police sent the file to the Director of Public Prosecution Office so they will say that they are acting on legal advice. It is possible that from the investigation there is not enough evidence to say that this corporal intentionally killed Allyson Major, a young man, father, teacher and husband who has lost his life senselessly.  In this case the police are responsible. The police in Belize are either not training the officers enough or they have no strict protocol; when to use force, when to fire your gun, when to pull out your firearm. We just lost life and they still can’t come tell us what is the proper procedure for officers to one, pull out their gun and two, to use it. Now how do you use a gun on somebody who is driving away from you, who there is no evidence that he killed anybody of caused any damage to anybody. To go and buy some weed? I that what they are really saying?  To go and buy some weed, the police should shoot a man? The police should really be slapped with some big fines, three, four hundred thousand dollars to send a message that this society doesn’t accept that trained armed officers who are to enforce the law are the ones who breaking the law. You cannot have that in the society.”

 

Martinez is scheduled to reappear in court on September thirtieth. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


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