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Mar 5, 2021

Mistrial in Patrick Harris Murder Case

Justice Herbert Lord today ruled a mistrial in the case of Patrick Harris. When the case began last week Tuesday, Justice Lord decided to enter into a voir dire during the trial to determine whether a group identification that the police conducted in 2017 was lawful.  The judge ruled it was not and proceeded with the trial.  But on Thursday morning, the crown’s main witness attempted to do a dock identification of the accused.  The defense attorney again raised arguments over features that he felt ought to have occurred to allow for this.  The case was adjourned for lunch, but not before the judge told the witness to not speak to anyone during the break regarding the matter.   That was when Selgado said he saw the same witness speaking to a police officer, who then escorted him to the D.P.P.’s office.  Selgado submitted that while it was possible that the witness and the prosecutor did not speak about the matter that had just come up in the trial, it certainly drew a negative inference that he could have been coached.  Justice Lord ruled the defense’s submissions were proper and declared a mistrial. Justice Lord also decided to offer Harris bail of forty thousand dollars until a new trial can be heard by another judge. Patrick Harris is accused of the 2016 New Year’s Eve murder of Dillon Grinage in Sand Hill Village, Belize District.

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