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Jun 22, 1999

Man accused of old prison fire to be tried in Supreme Court

A prisoner who escaped from the Raccoon Street Police Station at the end of last month was sentenced to a further five years in Hattieville on Friday. 24 year old Dennis Quilter, who had been convicted of theft and was being held at the police station before appearing in court on another matter, escaped on May 31st.

In a much older case, a prisoner who escaped from the Old Belize City Prison in 1993 by setting fire to it was finally located and brought to Magistrate’s Court on Friday. A former inmate of the old prison testified that he saw Ernest Smith and another prisoner nailing up a hole in the ceiling of the cell shortly before the fire broke out on September 11, 1993. The prisoner claimed he had talked Smith out of setting the fire the previous night. Prison Officer Emeraldo Ah’s statement was that the fire occurred on the upper level and 83 cellmates broke down their cell door as well as other doors to escape. Magistrate Emerson Banner reviewed the statements and sent the matter for trial in the Supreme Court in October.

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