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Jul 7, 2010

Murder charged dropped to manslaughter and then to acquittal

Keon Williams myvette

In 2007, Keon ‘’Williams’’ Myvette was charged with the murder of Michael Gladden. In 2009 his first trial ended with a hung jury and a retrial was ordered. Three weeks ago, he went back to court and that trial ended happily for him on Tuesday night. Myvette beat the murder charge and hours later, he was found not guilty of manslaughter after a jury of twelve deliberated for almost eight hours. They first emerged at around two-thirty on Tuesday afternoon to seek clarification on possible verdicts and later returned with a unanimous decision of not guilty on the murder charge. Justice Herbert Lord directed the jurors to return to the deliberating room to discuss the alternative charge of Manslaughter. Finally, the jury emerged with their decision at twenty minutes to eight, indicating they found Myvette not guilty.

During the lengthy trial, a two week voire dire had to be held because the crown’s main witness, Levi Brown, got cold feet and did not want to testify even though he did in the 2009 case.  Prosecutor Christelle Wilson made an application to have Brown’s 2007 written statement admitted into evidence but that was rejected. Another witness, Sebastian Nunez Jr., aka “Sabe” also refused to testify and said he didn’t remember the incident. Wilson was successful, however, in getting Myvett’s caution statement into evidence, a report police claim he willingly gave admitting to causing Gladden’s death but in self defense. On February twenty-eighth, 2007, Michael Gladden was shot twice on Lovely Lane.  The fight was witnessed by many but during the trial, only the deceased’s brother, Elton Tingling, testified that he saw Gladden and Myvette fighting that night.  Tingling claims Myvette threatened Gladden before they parted ways. Thirty minutes later, as he headed home, he says he saw Myvett with a gun and by the time he reached his house, the accused was already there. Tingling further claimed that he saw when Myvett shot Gladden. Myvett was represented by attorney, Anthony Sylvester, who was assisted by Dickie Bradley. News five’s court reporter, spoke to Sylvestre after the Myvette was freed.

Anthony Sylvestre , Attorney for Keon Williams Myvette

anthony sylvestre

“Well, the case for the prosecution lasted for about two weeks and the defendant he started presenting his case last week. Basically, the defendant’s case was that he had no knowledge of this crime. At the time the incident supposedly took place, he was actually at his father’s house and the evidence has borne out in court attest to that and a juror of his peers they acquitted him. Having heard both the defence case and the prosecution’s case.”

Anita Nembhard

“We know that during the trial there was a lot of challenges. For instance, in 2009, when the client was tried in front of a different judge it was a hung jury; but we know the main witness, Levi Brown, had testified. But this time he chose not to testify. Do you believe that if the evidence of that witness was brought into play, would it have been a different consideration for the jurors tonight?”

Anthony Sylvestre

“Well Anita, at this time this doesn’t do well or it doesn’t make sense now to speculate. A jury of Mr. William’s peers have found him not guilty and that’s the end of the matter. So, I wouldn’t want to venture into any speculation about what would or would not have happened. As the jury of his peers have heard both the prosecution’s evidence and the defence’s evidence, acquitted him and found him not guilty.”

Anita Nembhard

“We know that in the prosecution’s case the caution statement was admitted into evidence and the jurors had that to deliberate. And in that caution statement he was saying it was self defense.”

Anthony Sylvestre

“Well, unfortunately neither yourself nor myself knows, what were the issues particularly, which caused the jurors to actually arrive at their decision. But certainly, it was the defense case that that caution statement was not given by Mr. Williams freely, that it was actually obtained by force and by specifically him being beaten at the time he was taken into custody. And he merely signed because he was coerced and he was pressured to do that.”


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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16 Responses for “Murder charged dropped to manslaughter and then to acquittal”

  1. Belizean First says:

    WHAT KIND OF STUPID BELIZEANS WE HAVE AS INVESTIGATORS AND POLICE? Can’t anyone check into these situations!!!! This even to the most STUPID PERSON reading it STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN!!!! Witness not turning up because of fear and then jury despite evidence acquitting. Has anyone questioned the jurors? ANYONE EVEN CONSIDERED that perhaps one of the jurors or more were THREATENED? INTIMIDATED? Our system is a JOKE!!!

  2. Belizean First says:

    I don’t blame the family of the young man shot yesterday on his way to the bus stop to visit his daugther in Orange Walk, who seeks only REVENGE. It is getting to the point where there is NO JUSTICE, and we all need to take justice into OUR OWN HANDS!! We are getting to the point of so much FRUSTRATION, RAGE and soon to be heading in the direction of all our other Central American countries!

  3. Maddyvandijk says:

    Another story that will go on and on by the people saying that justice failed once again.
    First it was the police department that proved time and time again that they are not capable of bringing a person to justice, now the court system has taken the #1 place of injustice.

    why isnt the media breading down the Pm neck over this very issue that seem to have such a huge impact on the community day in and day out, this can also proved to be sensational news to some.

  4. mbrad says:

    This guy went home 2 get a gun n return to kill a man….now he’s free 2 go…

  5. Elgin Martinez says:

    I am going to say it again.Until Mr Barrow decides to make some amendments to the laws of Belize to fit the present situation all these things are going to continue to take place.

  6. c says:

    hung jury?…. let’s hang the jury betta

  7. Islander says:

    C… I can clearly say that you have absolutely no idea of what a juror is supposed to do in court!

    When you present yourself in court as a juror you are not there to opine on your beliefs, views, political affiliations or what you intimately think about the case..

    You are there to weigh in on the information presented to you during the trial. If the prosecution is not able to present its case against the defendant then you do not have a choice but to go with the evidence or lack of that was presented to you.

    If you are accused of raping a child… taken to court and then the prosecutor is not able to convince me that it was actually you who raped the child then I have to let you go free.. Yes it is a despicable horrible act but if not even the prosecution is sure that it was you then how in the world can I send you to the can for a long time when they can’t prove with 100% certainty that it was you.

  8. ORIGINALWOMAN says:

    THOSE LAWYERS NEED TO GO BACK TO SEARCH THEIR CONSCIENCE…..THERE IS A SAYING “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES BACK AROUND”….I OFTEN WONDER IF THE LAWYERS ARE SO AFRAID TO CONVICT THESE MURDERERS, THEY DECIDE INSTEAD TO DEFEND THEM TO THE FULLEST…I ALSO WONDER HOW THEY SLEEP AT NIGHTS….
    THE LAWS ARE SO CORRUPT, THEY ALLOW MURDERERS TO WALK 99% OF THE TIME…WHAT’S THE SENSE IN EVEN HAVING A JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT SEEMS TO CATER TO THE CRIMINALS INSTEAD OF THE VICTIMS????
    PRETTY SOON BELIZE WILL BE LEFT WITH NOTHING BUT CRIMINAL MINDED PEOPLE, FORCING THE GOOD ONES TO LEAVE, OR NOT RETURN TO BELIZE AT ALL!!!

  9. VISITOR says:

    Many people don’t understand the court system and how they operate until they probably go into a courtroom to listen to a case. These MURDERERS are innocent until proven guilty. Our law needs to change this. They should be guilty until proven innocent because all of them are guilty but because of lack of police’s evidence and lack of capacity to handle evidence given to them these IDIOTS are walking free. Juriors are not the ones to blame its the corrupt police department and their incompitence to bring these criminal to a guilty verdict. I don’t even blame the prosecutors because again they have to depend on the police department and their inconsistency. If these police don’t have evidence on these MURDERERS what can a jury work on NOTHING so here’s when the law steps in and say if the prosecutors don’t have evidence then how can u find them guilty. JUSTICE SYSTEM A BUNCH OF CRAPP…..

  10. Elgin Martinez says:

    Visitor: I agree with what you said however i believe that most of these criminals don’t get convicted due to the fact that they intimidate the witnesses.As a result the witnesses fail to appear in court and if i was a witness to some crime i would probably do thesame because there is no law in place to protect these witnesses.

  11. Common Sense says:

    Visitor – please dont tell me you want “guilty until proven innocent”….no-one can be that dumb, just imagine the situation we would have here considering the state of the police system at present.

    The justice system is not a bunch of crap, it is the laws in place that are weak – and as Elgin (above) is spot on.

  12. congrats says:

    congrats Anthony, you made a killer a free man. hope you have a wonderful political career

  13. kazee Benizar says:

    Is PM Barrow the judes or the juries every blame falls on him is he di ones doing the crimes or murders come one people stop playing politics cause datz one of the main thing killing us today. we need to help out each other the lawyers are the number one to be blame for the free walkings of the criminals and the murderers. the Lawyers love the huge sum of money so bad that they know the criminals and murderers are wrong but yet they fight to let them free and yeah they ALWAYS win. our country has now become a place for REVENGE only waiting for justice to occur NEVER. u will wait till eternity or till a next family member is killed

  14. Mikey says:

    Police need to start recording witness testimonies to prevent them from recanting in the courtroom and to charge them with purgery if needed. Our court system is a joke, with prosecutors doing a poor job at putting away criminals who are known to be guilty. How many times have we seen people witness an individual committing a crime only to recant their statements later on or better yet forgetting altogether what they saw. The lawyers for these criminals are no better. They defend people they know are guilty. I hope they all live painful lives for defending these murderers and rapists, knowing who they are.

  15. Phillippa says:

    First of all the belizean laws need to change. Its not fear. a lot of time people spend years in jail before their trial. when they trial arrive they are found not guilty. but still they spend all that years for a crime they do not committed. so the law need to be revised an the corrupted police department need to be fix.

  16. Street Justice says:

    Its almost a guarantee that Myvette is not going to live to see christmas. have no worries of him, dead man walking.

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