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Jul 8, 2011

Guilty of Murder; 56 year old woman set husband on fire

Veola Pook

A sensational murder trial ended today in the Supreme Court. A woman was tried for setting her common law husband on fire. She is fifty-four year old Veola Pook and she was found guilty of his murder. At midday a jury of eight men and four women retired to the deliberation room and emerged almost five hours later with a unanimous verdict. Pook was charged after forty-six year old Orlando Mai Vasquez succumbed to severe burns to seventy percent of his body. The incident goes back to 2008 when the couple got into an argument at their home in Rancho Dolores on the night of December thirty-first. Pook was angry with Vasquez because he wanted to sample a ham that had been prepared to celebrate the New Year. Pook set him on fire during the fight and after two days in the hospital, he died. In trial, Pook’s daughter, Violet Jeffords, testified against her, saying that when she ran to her mother’s house she saw the flames and found her brother trying to extinguish the flames on Vasquez while Pook stood by and watched. Her cousin, Evan Pook, also testified that when he arrived at the scene, Vasquez was curled up on the ground while Pook sat under a tree. But the strongest evidence was in the testimony of the responding officer, Sergeant Aaron Zuniga, who told the court that Pook admitted to setting Vasquez on fire.  Pook left the court in tears as she was escorted back to the prison. Her daughter, who testified against her, was also visibly shaken up. After the verdict today, Pook’s attorney, Hubert Elrington, raised questions about Sergeant Zuniga’s testimony.

Hubert Elrington, Attorney for Veola Pook

Hubert Elrington

“Our position was that this evidence emerged after the woman was charged. That was the first time that statement appeared in the police file or the police case. There was no mention of it in the first month, in the second month, third month, fourth month; but in the sixth month they found a witness who said that.”

Anita Nembhard, Court Reporter

“What’s next for Miss Pook? Will she be appealing?”

Hubert Elrington

“We have to look at the possibility of appealing such a decision.”

Sentencing has been reserved for July twentieth.

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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9 Responses for “Guilty of Murder; 56 year old woman set husband on fire”

  1. Storm says:

    I almost hate to say it, but we must have equal rights and equal punishments. Women who murder must hang just like the men who murder.

  2. survivour says:

    so sad we dont know how much this woman must have put up with to think she had no other option.

  3. Ms. Bumbastic says:

    i think that the verdict isn’t bad cause if she’s wrong she wrong……….Fighting over Ham Gog what’s wrong with these Belizean People

  4. Justice says:

    Strange as murder was given. Was it premeditated? What she did was wrong but it sounds very strange.

  5. Belizean says:

    A woman can be tried and found guilty of murder after she came out and said she was tired of living a life of abuse..shame and disgrace on the prosecution and jury. Yet killers rome the streets mugging and killing each other and getting away easily. Whats wrong with our country, we need to realize the laws are not being upheld by ministers and the PM so why should we send a woman to jail for defending herself..who knows if this man was trying to set her on fire and it fell on him…

  6. CEO says:

    All over a piece of ham at age 57? You would think that at this age we would have matured and have a little more sense!

    She could have set aside a piece for him to sample when he came home.

    What is sad drug dealers walk free and this woman is sentenced but murder is murder!

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    Her own daughter testifying against her raises alot of questions.It gives me the impression that Veola Pook is the troublesome type.

  8. mylegacyb4mypeople says:

    The woman murdered, her daughter testified against her reading the comments here you would think that there are no wicked evil women in Belize, what’s wrong with these people? any one can do evil men and women.

  9. sexy says:

    people open ur eyes an think she has been in this home for so many years an only she knows what she was going through, an i don’t believe this was over a ham this is way more than this, an what about the officer on the seen he was drinking an didn’t write his report until almost 6 months later. an yet when he is in the court he can’t remember much of this incident, she needs an appeal.

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