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Jun 20, 2008

Court of Appeal orders new trial for Felix brothers …

Story PictureThis morning the Court of Appeal ordered that two brothers convicted of murder should get a new trial. In October 2006 Maurice and Emory Felix were found guilty of the murder of Belize City mechanic Mitchum Heredia. Justice Adolph Lucas subsequently ordered that both Felixes should be jailed for life. In connection to injuries sustained by another man during the same shooting, Maurice Felix was additionally sentenced to fifteen years for Attempted Murder, which was to be served concurrently. But this morning the judges of the Court of Appeal quashed those convictions, set their sentences aside and ordered a retrial of the case. According to court reports, the appeals were allowed because no identification parade was held. Apparently, the trial judge, Adolph Lucas had told the jury that holding an identification parade would have been a waste of time because the prosecution’s chief witness named Maurice and Emory Felix as the gunmen. Following the ruling, Defence attorney Simeon Sampson admitted to us that he was surprised by the court’s decision.

Simeon Sampson, Attorney, Felix Brothers
“I was somewhat disappointed, I thought they were going to be scotch free and never to return again but the interest of justice might be best served if they are retried.”

Janelle Chanona
“Why were you hoping for otherwise?”

Simeon Sampson
“Because in my arguments, the fact was there was no other supporting evidence beside this incomplete identification evidence which was in my view, ought not to be sustained or could not sustain a country at all but there have been no other evidence. That was the reason why I was hoping that this would have been the end of the matter.”

The brothers will remain on remand until the conclusion of new case. During the four-day trial almost two years ago, both men took the stand in their defence to maintain their innocence. In April of 2006, Mitchum Heredia had just pulled into his driveway on T Street when two men jumped from behind a tree in his yard and shot him multiple times.

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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