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Feb 18, 2011

B.D.F. private guilty of manslaughter

A B.D.F. Private has taken up residence at the Belize Central Prison and on March third, he will find out just how long he has to stay there. That soldier is twenty-three year old Paulino Assi, who was found guilty of Manslaughter late Thursday afternoon in the Orange Walk Supreme Court. The conviction is for the shooting death of twenty-one year old George Kenny Cortez, a resident of Douglas Village. Cortez was seeking shelter at the San Pablo Community Center because Douglas Village had been evacuated and quarantined due to contaminated flood waters following tropical depression sixteen in 2008. On the night of November twenty-second, while in the shelter, a drunk Cortez hurled obscenities at residents as well as Assi and Lance Corporal Paulino Pop, who were on security duty. Eyewitnesses testified that Cortez crossed the street and got into an argument with three men at a bus shed. He threw a bottle at them and returned to the shelter to retrieve a machete. But Cortez was not allowed inside and was warned that police would be called to detain him. Cortez’ aunt, who also testified, said she asked the B.D.F. soldiers to tie him up until he calmed down. But things got out of control and according to Assi, he fired two warning shots when Cortez began to move towards a corporals in an aggressive manner. Assi said he fired a third shot because Cortez didn’t back down; that bullet hit him behind the right leg, damaging a main artery. While Assi called it an aggressive advance, witnesses said that Cortez was walking away from the soldier when he was shot.  Cortez succumbed to his injuries the following morning and Assi was charged with manslaughter by negligence.

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4 Responses for “B.D.F. private guilty of manslaughter”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    We cannot convict murderers & thieves who are caught on camera committing crimes but we believe angry neighbors who are probably relatives that an out of control drunk needed to be coaxed into being tied up. Maybe he should have been allowed to pick up his machete & chopped someone first before the officer shot him but considering how misguided our people including his aunt have become, whomever he chopped would have been blamed for running into a rusty dull machete & leaving the poor brute with no means to chip his coconut or terrorize his neighbors.

    Last month many complained that the thief shot by Mr. Willoughby should have been shot in the leg, well this drunk was shot in the leg, unfortunately he died. I am second guessing the jury but I believe they were wrong & I don’t feel that Assi should serve any time.

  2. islandboy70 says:

    This soldier did his best to control the situation. I am certain that if he had a stunn gun, it would have prevented the death. The GOB should look into getting stun guns for police and soldiers.
    The problem is that drunking men are very dangerous. They are not afraid of dying or getting hurt and this n may result in innocent people getting hurt. I wouldnt be surprise that this wasnt the first incident like this by this drunking idiot

  3. belizean ppl says:

    don’t know what the law want you to do sometimes……. if you don’t do anything like if assi never hit the man he would have done something else indeed to innocent ppl out their who are seeking for shelter , which they will blame the soldier who are out there ….. and is not time for being getting drunk when disaster is around. if he is not taking the disaster seriously then why he is around innocent ppl the give trouble …….. that’s the point the law supposed to see ……. assi is there due to his job not idling himself ….. this idiot came from nowhere with his stupid attitude around them which he know bdf are to kill……. not to give you lots of warning and indeed he get a warning shot put he proof them too much which you can’t do to our belizean soldiers……
    so i don’t think this young soldier deserve a sentence ……. hope the GOB look into this matter seriously ………

  4. B Groovy says:

    The bdf got charged because he shot the victim behind the leg plane and simple.

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