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Jan 30, 2023

Day Three of the Manslaughter Trial in Shooting Death of Laddie Gillett

Late this evening, just before five p.m., day three of the trial against former Corporal of Police Kareem Martinez resumed. Three more witnesses were called to the stand by the prosecution to give their account of what happened on the night of July fourteenth, 2021. Also present in court were relatives of the accused, as well as those of fourteen-year-old Laddie Gillett, who died from a single gunshot wound to the back. Duane Moody reports from Dangriga on what transpired.


Duane Moody

Duane Moody

“It’s day three of the trial here in the Dangriga Supreme Court where the manslaughter charge against former Corporal of Police Kareem Martinez is taking place in the shooting death of fourteen-year-old Laddie Gillett. Today, three officers took to the stand to give their testimony on what happened on that tragic night.”


Emil Bradley

Emil Bradley, Father of Laddie Gillett

“It just make me realise why the conviction rate is so low, how they weren’t prepared for this case. I can’t understand how these two police officers who testified earlier, swore on the bible went in there and tell lie like it’s a dog that has been shot. Even a dog, you love your dog, you would look after your dog; you would try to do something. I mean they just watched, didn’t make any effort to say make we try do CPR or check his pulse or anything like that.  And then they come and lie – I won’t get into it – all I will say is I am not happy with these two police officers. And this is where what we are talking about when we say that we need more training for these police officers. When Mister Williams listens to these testimonies that these officers give, I know he will be ashamed of them and ask himself if they are worthy of being a police officer – a police constable, a tourism police, whatever it is – come on we have to do better than this. So dah noh only this we have; we have a bigger problem than what we are actually seeing. It’s not only the case with Laddie but we have a bigger problem in the department. And this is the reason why our conviction rate is so low because we fail to prepare and pan top of that they still gwen go tell lie. If it was their parent, their brother or sister, would they have done the same thing or would they have told the truth.”

That is the sentiment of Laddie Gillett’s father, following today’s proceedings where three officers appeared before Justice Antoinette Moore to give their account of what happened on the night of July fourteenth, 2021. Two of the officers, namely Special Constable Michael Miranda and Police Constable Isaiah Pop, had responded to the scene along with the accused and one other officer when the deadly shooting occurred.  During the trial, the officers were unable to confirm the exact time that the shooting occurred. While they claimed it was after ten p.m., the record showed that it had to have been earlier. Attorney Dickie Bradley who has been hired to join the prosecution on Laddie’s behalf, spoke to the media just before the trial resumed this afternoon. He says his role is not unusual.


Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley, Defense Attorney

“It is not unusual and when I discussed it with the DPP, she even, I think a little jokingly asked if I wanted the full authority to be the prosecutor or one of the prosecutor. It is not unusual; I have done it before. Oscar Selgado who will give you a more detailed rundown, he put a question to the scenes of crime technician – was it windy? Was it dark? For us, we will know that why will you ask a question like that? It could be he is setting the stage that one, the wind can – if you fire a shot – the wind could move it slightly depending on distance and what ballistic experts say. And that other, more important, is if it’s dark and you discharge a shot, there are many implications that arises out of that. So we on this side are anticipating that that could be a possibility  in relation to the case. This straightforward. Two teenagers are on the beach; they walk through an area that is like an alley. The police are called – we are not clear why there is a need to call the police – nobody said and the witness didn’t say that they stone at him, that they threatened him or that they haul wah knife or weapon or anything of that sort. But his job is to secure the resort where he is and he felt better he called the police. The police come and the man dehn shot not a man, but a child. A child is shot. The pictures that I saw, I have not been moved by photographs and I have seen some gruesome photographs. But to see a child whom all the other pictures he is smiling, he is laughing – I mean this was going to be someone to help us in the country – just laid out like a piece of meat is – I could just imagine what the family is going through.”


Fourteen witnesses have so far testified on behalf of the crown. There are five others left to testify. Reporting from Dangriga for News Five, I am Duane Moody.

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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