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Feb 25, 2010

Cop acquitted of murder charge

Richard Polonio

Richard Polonio

A cop in 2008 admitted to firing a shot just moments before a man in the same vicinity was killed by a gunshot blast.  But that was not enough evidence to seal a conviction against twenty-four year old Richard Polonio, who was attached to the Queen Street Patrol Branch. Justice John Troadio Gonzalez directed a jury of eight women and four men to acquit the police officer of the murder of forty-nine year old Carmen Alexander Herrera. Before passing the judgment, Justice Gonzalez said that in his view, the evidence adduced by the prosecutor, Yohhahnseh Cave, would not have allowed the jury to decide who shot and killed Herrera. The breakthrough for Polonio came when the judge upheld a no-case submission made by attorney Dickie Bradley, who claimed that there was no evidence against Polonio. According to Bradley, identification was a key factor and clearly there was no one who knew who the shooter was that night.  Bradley went so far as to say that the shooter could have been any other person, including another policeman who could have been armed with a shotgun.  Polonio’s case began last week Friday and the prosecution called nine witnesses to the stand. Polonio was on remanded for almost two years.  He was initially charged with Manslaughter but that charge was upgraded to Murder after the post-mortem was completed.  On the evening of Sunday, August third, 2008 police responded to a report of shots being fired on the Southside of the Swing Bridge.  They later set chase after Herrera who was believed to be carrying a gun.  When Herrera spotted the police he ran, and minutes later, a single shot rang out and he fell into the Belize River.  He died from a pellet fragment to the brain.  Polonio had told his supervisor that he had fired a shot.  He had been given five cartridges to a shotgun and when he reported back to work the next morning he had only four cartridges.

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11 Responses for “Cop acquitted of murder charge”

  1. Elsie Magdaleno says:

    I am happy to know Richard Polonio is a free man!!! walk with your head up high cousin because you are innocent it have been prove in the court of law…..

  2. Redbwai says:

    See…..this just goes to show there is no form of juctice in Belize. Our laws have to many loopholes that the criminals can freely jump through. I knew well ahead of time that this police officer wouldn’t be convicted….Belize’s laws are a shame and disgrace.

  3. dawg says:

    Typical Belizean justice…anybody can kill and walk free. It’s like killing is not a crime in Belize.

  4. CEO says:

    The laws of Belize are pretty sound just the way American laws are the problem lies with who is doing the evedence gathering and the procecution. They need to be able to make their case more air tight. This only come with better training and experience! Where are the balistics to support their claim would be my first question. Courts function with evidence not assumptions.

  5. macal rivera says:

    God is the best judge, only he knows what transpired that evening, he might get away from our earthly justice but not from God, if he really did it then he has it coming, the sin of the parents fall on the children if there is no genuine repentance, so let God be in control.


    i hope he can walk alive on the street for a few months and later we’ll watch news his been filled with bullets that’s how the failed justice ends up after wards

  7. BM says:

    I sat in this courtroom for days during this case. Its so unbelievable that a police officer, someone that took an oath to protect and preserve life, knowingly admit to firing a single shot from a shotgun and yet he walked free. Yes a lot of shots were fired initially to stop the person from running but none created any injury.Likewise, the public no hear the testimony from his own officers/eyewitnesses saying that minutes(3 -4 min) after the hail of firing a single shotgun blast was heard and immediately the person screamed. They no hear the doctor testifying that this said shotgun was what inflicted the fatal wound. The public no hear either how the civilian witnesses were afraid of testifying because they were intimated by persons visiting them and threatening them if they go to court to testify. Is that the action of an innocent person? You be the judge. So walk my friend with your “head held high”, just because the justice system say you are “not guilty” noh mean you are “not guilty”. God is the judge, no one else.

  8. Tasha says:

    What good does it do for investigators to gather evidence when there are crooked cops who ‘misplace’ the evidence and when witnesses are bullied against testifying? The problem is not the lack of training and experience…the problem is the characters of the police officers who cover up things and allow these cases to fall apart!

  9. franco says:

    u shoot someone caz of some weed or crack all he doin is hurting himself we see what will become of d jamican man case u got to do better mr P M u d one causin all dis killing we need better justice cops cops cops do ur stuff n get away wit it n then all of u run here in america n turn d biggest drugs dealers

  10. maddyvandijk says:

    Let’s face it the police in Belize are mostly illiterates, so they are unable to gather good information or evidence to make any sort of real case possible, so don’t bet your life on it. Beside that police took an oath to protect other police officers at all cost.
    Being a police in Belize is nothing but a monthly paycheck for them, they don’t care about anyone, not that they are capable of it anyway.
    Let’s see if the “coward” Richard Polonio
    Will get another opportunity to shoot off his gun and then walk away, free.

  11. sexykrys says:

    I think that the man is innocent to the crime i sat down in the court room from beginning to the end i can safely say that they werent any evident towards the accused…Of all the witnesses that testify neither of them said that he fired a shot and it caught him….I think that the man has already walked free and that should be it…And who is u to be calling any coward? And its true GOD aint sleeping so again i say dont point fingers cause every ‘JACK SOLE HAVE THERE DAY TO COME’…It might not be today or tomorrow we all do a crime and some of just fail to do the time…He has already been proving ‘NOT GUILTY’ by the court of LAW….so Richard Polonio just continue to walk with ur head up high and dont let anyone discourage u from what u have plan to do in the future!!!!!!!! And words are like ‘Man appoint and GOD disappoint’ that idiot that said that he wants to see how long u will be walking the streets who knows it can be longer than him!!!!! Anyways my words to you’Dont Let anyone judge but the Father up above’

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