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Jun 28, 2012

Trial about murdered witness to another murder falls apart

Henry Cornejo

Now turning to the courts, another murder trial fell apart in court today, when the prosecutor faced two hurdles she could not cross. The case relates to the murder of thirty year old Gilbert Olivera, who was gunned down near his home on Dean Street in May 2009. It is believed that Olivera was killed because he was the main witness in a murder trial. A seventeen year old minor was accused of pulling the trigger, shooting Olivera once in the back with what is suspected to have been a sawed off shot gun. The suspect, Henry Cornejo is now twenty years old and his trial concluded today before Justice Adolph Lucas. Crown Council, Stevannie Duncan was forced to close her case without sufficient evidence after two voir dires. First she attempted to have oral and written statements from Cornejo admitted into evidence. Police claim that Cornejo told them verbally that he hid in a yard, then ran out and shot Olivera as he passed by.  Cornejo was reportedly giving the cops a written statement when his attorney arrived and advised against it. Justice Lucas ruled that neither the oral or written statements were admissible in the trial. The second voir dire was an attempt to get a statement from the main witness, who could not be located, admitted into evidence. Again, Judge Lucas ruled that the statement could not be used because the prosecution knew the case was coming up and had ample time to locate the witness. Cornejo’s Attorney, Anthony Sylvester, then submitted that there was no evidence to substantiate the charge of Murder and Justice Lucas agreed. He directed the jury to find Cornejo not guilty.

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3 Responses for “Trial about murdered witness to another murder falls apart”

  1. Storm says:

    I think our judge has seen too many police shows from the States where a criminal gets off on some foolish technicality, not on substance. In Belize we take the “rights” of murderers to a ridiculous extent — it is almost humanly impossible to find a judge who will allow in confessions.

    AT THE SAME TIME — our police and prosecutors and Hon. Saldivar have to get smarter than the gangsters and their despicable “defence attorneys.”

    How hard and expensive is it to use a small digital audio recorder to record an interrogation, to prove that no coercion was used? How hard to use a video in a major case like murder? Truth is, it is far more expensive to lose these cases 97% of the time! We waste the time invested, and we waste the blood of future victims.


    If a victims’ rights group wants to do something useful, it can chart the decisions of each judge in the country over a period of time, and then publicize the worst of them occasionally. We need pressure to remove corrupt, incompetent, and otherwise unqualified justices with certainty and speed.

  2. Daniel says:

    It’s a travesty of justice, when a man has to stay in prison that long awaiting trial. Is their no Right to a speedy trial? My prayers are with this young man. That he maybe able to come back from this nightmare and live a productive life in this evolving country.

  3. Daniel says:

    It’s a travisty of justice that a young man has to spend three years of his life waiting to be released. I guess the Belize constitution does not have the “Right to a speedy trial”. With the Grace of God, hopefully this young man can continue his life and find direction.

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