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Jan 31, 2023

Expert Witnesses Appear in Day 4 of Manslaughter Trial

Kareem Martinez

The manslaughter trial of former police Corporal Kareem Martinez continues before Justice Antoinette Moore in the Dangriga Supreme Court. The final three witnesses took the stand today, officially entering into evidence key elements in the case. Among the evidence submitted was the transcription of an interview with the accused the day after the deadly shooting of Laddie Gillett. In that statement, Martinez admitted to firing a shot that night.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Three witnesses appeared in court today to testify; two of whom were from the National Forensic Science Service and the lead investigator in the shooting death of Laddie Gillett. In the morning session, Medical Examiner Dr. Lloyd Ken, who carried out the postmortem examination on the body of Laddie, confirmed that the minor was shot to the back and the bullet exited the chest. He says it was, quote, a single perforated rapidly fatal shot, which was fired at a distant range, end quote.  The bullet went through the main blood supply of the left lung, the aorta and the heart and the death of the fourteen-year-old was inevitable.


Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“You heard the doctor’s explanation this morning, there is nothing that could have happened. A person could run for a distance when you get that sudden shot and so on, but all the witnesses, all the witnesses not confirmed that. Police officers were standing right there when the young man fell face down and one officer says one hand was moving but there was nothing.”


Firearms Examiner, Sherilee Lino also took the stand and disclosed in her five-page report that the Aguila-brand case recovered from the scene was fired from the police issued Bersa-brand pistol that was submitted into evidence.


Dickie Bradley

“Scientific approach to testing of ammunition, especially where there is no slug and other factors. There are many things; I mean a trial is a dynamic matter so things are unfolding. For the crown, they have done what is required based on the evidence gathered in the police investigation file. The investigator himself turned up.”


This afternoon, lead investigator Sergeant Holly Vasquez took to the stand and chronicled being assigned to the case on the morning of July fifteenth. At the Placencia Police Station, in the presence of Justice of the Peace Glenford Eiley, an interview was conducted with the accused.  Fifty-eight questions were asked and Martinez’s responses were recorded on video and on paper – signed by all three present and sealed with the JP’s stamp.  The handwritten transcript of that interview was entered into evidence today.  In it, the accused confirmed that he fired a shot from his police-issued gun, but that it was in the air.


Laddie Gillett

Dickie Bradley

“Evidence was presented to the court which is not being challenged that the accused used his police-issued firearm and he discharged one shot. He has now admitted he was on the scene of the crime that he had his police-issued firearm and that he used it. In his statement, for want of a better word, it is a note of an interview which was witnessed as the rules governing police obtaining notes of interviews. He has said a number of things which you all have been following the trial so you will know that they are not in line with what the other eyewitnesses at the scene have said. So then he has that problem which will be very hard to surmount that the child was fighting with Officer Pop. Officer Pop nothing like that has come out. He has also said that they were attacked by the kids, that there was a big struggle and that also when the shot went off, six minutes after that whoever it was that was connected with that bullet shouted out that he had been shot.  The notes of interview is almost like a confession statement, duly witnessed all the various requirements that you don’t have to say anything, you have a right to get an attorney. All the rights that are required were stated.”


Laddie’s family members, who were in attendance, say that they are satisfied with today’s proceedings.


Emil Bradley

Emil Bradley, Father of Laddie Gillett

“I am satisfied with the testimony with the witnesses, with the people from the forensic. They made the case stronger, they linked him with the case to the area and today, they finished link him after Sergeant Vasquez testified, one of the questions was did you fire a shot and he said yes. So that gives us more hope that we will get justice. I am satisfied with the outcome of today.”


Lucy Fleming

Lucy Fleming, Grandmother of Laddie Gillett

“After yesterday, when we felt so disheartened because we felt the police had done such a bad job, we were confused, they were confused themselves about what they were doing so we went home very disheartened. Today’s a new day and we felt that the testimonies were very easy to understand, very clear, very well done.”


Going forward, will the accused take the stand?


Dickie Bradley

“Attorney for the accused, Oscar Selgado will now present to the courts. He is asking to use a police witness that the crown had no need to call. So he wants to attack that witness in terms of cross examination to say but this is what you saw, this you said in your statement and so on. And then it is not clear whether he will put the accused on the witness stand or he will just give a dock statement or whatever it is. But now, the obstacle in front of the accused has grown tremendously as a consequence of that recorded notes of interview.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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