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Jun 12, 2012

Witness gets amnesia; accused murderers acquitted

Jody Gentle

In the local courts, two brothers were freed of a Murder charge today when the main witness recanted a statement given in 2007, following the fatal shooting of twenty-five year old Alpheus Smith. It is the second time twenty-six year old Lynton and twenty-two year old Jody Gentle have been tried for the murder; in 2009 the case ended with a hung jury and a retrial was ordered. In the first trial, Nathaniel Bowen testified that he drove Smith to the hospital after the shooting incident on Curassow Street. But in court today, Bowen claimed he could not remember anything and said he was both near and far sighted when asked to identify the signature on his statement. When he refused to cooperate, Prosecutor Christophe Rodriguez, made an application to treat him as a hostile witness and Bowen was placed in lock down at the Queen Street Police Station overnight.

Lynton Gentle

But that didn’t break him and Rodriguez was forced to close his case this morning, falling short of proving that Jody and Lynton murdered Smith. Other witnesses in the case were Senior Superintendent Chester Williams and Obed Arzu, who testified that they saw the brothers shooting into a Jeep Grand Cherokee on Curassow Street. He arrested the Gentles not far from the scene and found a gun inside their vehicle as well as another that had been discarded in a drain. But the cops could not say if Smith was the victim in that shooting because they left the scene in pursuit of the gunmen. That is why Bowen’s testimony was needed to fill the gap. Justice Adolph Lucas then heard from Attorney Hubert Elrington, who represented the Gentle brothers. Elrington made a no case submission on the grounds that there is no evidence linking his clients to the murder. The motion was upheld and the jury of twelve was instructed to formally acquit both suspects of murder and the alternative charge of manslaughter.

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6 Responses for “Witness gets amnesia; accused murderers acquitted”

  1. SC says:

    Why do they even put witnesses in this position. No-one in Belize protects a witness after they give their testimony and everyone knows that the witnesses is unually given death threats. Belize needs to find a way to take the first statement from the witness anonymously and use it in court. Take these murderers off the street.

  2. Storm says:

    In other countries, the prior testimony of the witness could have been admitted in this re-trial. We need a law like that here.

    Hopefully these gentlemen will receive final justice on the streets, the sooner the better.

  3. BMNJ says:

    Guess these ‘gentlemen’ will get their final justice in a ‘gentle’ manner.

  4. Storm says:

    BMNJ — I think you’ve coined a useful term, “gentle justice.”

    There are about 100 gangsters in the Jewel I would support receiving gentle justice.

  5. Al says:

    Help me to understand, If a person was seen shooting into a car and they left the scene of the shooting and was caught a short time later; then a body was later discovered in the vehicle riddled with bullets, how do you arrive at the place where you are not sure the dead person in the car was killed by the people seen shooting in the car. Yet there were no other shots fired. What am I missing? So two murderers are sitting under a tree drinking Belikin, smoking cigarettes or ganja and planning their next gig. I wonder who is next on their hit list? Blood is thicker than water.

  6. Al says:

    Mr Elringhton should be ashamed of himself, his brother is a high profile politician and he is a part of the system that is cuddling these criminals, sick, sick system.

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