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Feb 21, 2020

Manuel Pacheco Says He Killed Neighbour in Self Defense

Manuel Pacheco

Belize City jeweler, Manuel Pacheco, who is on trial for the murder of his next-door neighbour, today pleaded with the court that he killed Jose Manuel Villanueva in self defense.   Pacheco, defended by Senior Counsel, Ellis Arnold, told the Court in an unsworn statement from the dock that on the evening when the incident happened, he asked Villanueva to move his dog from where he was tied near a window at his jewelry shop on East Collet Canal since the constant barking over a period of days was becoming a nuisance for him and his customers.  Pacheco said that Villanueva yelled, cursed him and then went to his stairs and produced a gun and told him that he would put him down just like he put down Pacheco’s dog.  He said that he feared for his life and told Villanueva that he didn’t want any problems. Pacheco said he then heard a loud bang and that was when he pulled his licensed handgun and fired several shots at Villanueva. He said that he didn’t want to kill Villanueva and respects Villanueva’s family.  “I am very, very sorry,” Pacheco told the court tearfully, ending his statement.  Villanueva was shot dead on the evening of June fourteenth, 2018. He and Pacheco became neighbours in 2012 when the original owner of the property subdivided and sold it as two separate parcels of land. Closing arguments will be heard next week. Justice Colin Williams is presiding over the trial without a jury.

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