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Feb 13, 2014

Paul Jex freed of murder; Mayor Simeon Lopez reflects on the trial

A jury deliberated for about five hours and when the panel emerged just before nine o’clock on Wednesday night, they found that the suspect in the murder of the popular basketball player and teacher, Audrey Lopez, was not guilty. In the two-week trial, fourteen witnesses were called to the stand, but the main witness claimed he had come under threat. So instead of testifying, his caution statement to the police taken following the May 2010 murder was admitted as evidence. That witness, who obtained immunity to testify for the crown, claimed he saw Paul Jex, pull the trigger, but without the benefit of cross examination, the jury was not swayed. Lopez was the son of Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez. Earlier today, he walked Isani Cayetano through the trial and verdict.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Who killed Aubrey Lopez?  Sadly, his family may never know.  Despite sitting in court for the past two weeks listening to testimonies from several individuals, including his former girlfriend, the man accused of pulling the trigger has been exonerated.  Following a lengthy deliberation on Wednesday evening, a jury of twelve found Paul Jex innocent of murder.  News of the unanimous verdict has stunned the Lopez family.  Aubrey’s father, Mayor Simeon Lopez, despite maintaining his composure, is nonplused.


Simeon Lopez

Mayor Simeon Lopez, Father of Deceased

“I tried to be as normal, I try to take it as manly as I could.  My wife sort of broke down after the verdict and so I, my emotions came up a little bit, so I escorted her out of the courtroom along with my daughter.  That was the only emotion I had because of how my wife reacted to the verdict, you know.  But besides that I try to be strong with the support of the family.”


The main witness, still a minor at the time of the tragic shooting, for fear of his life submitted a written statement which was later entered into evidence.  The prosecution, however, was relying on a testimony from the dock where he could have been cross-examined.  It is uncertain what bearing, if any, his presence in court would have had on the decision.


Paul Jex

Mayor Simeon Lopez

“If I believe that justice did not take its course here physically, I know that it will be served someday.  Justice will be served someday, not by me, not by my family but by a higher power.  Me and my family’s only concern was to get the truth and the whole truth.  As far as we now know we will never know who killed Aubrey and why.”


Lopez had been informed that the murder trial would be conducted in the absence of a jury.  Somehow that did not happen.


Mayor Simeon Lopez

“Yes, it is true that I informed casually because it was a casual conversation I had and I was informed that this will be one of the cases that will be tried without jury.  But when I got into the courtroom on January twenty-eighth, when the trial began, a panel was selected.”


Of the twelve-member panel, seven of them were men, the others were women.  After listening intently to the merits of the case, the jury was not sold on the idea that Paul Jex was indeed the person who executed the star athlete in cold blood.  Their decision now leaves the most important question unanswered.  Lopez, on the other hand, remains puzzled as to whether Aubrey’s killer has also met a similar fate.


Mayor Simeon Lopez

“I know I have been informed, maybe one and a half [or] two years ago by an anonymous email to my phone, well not email but message, text message to my phone that the person who killed my son had been shot in Belize City and killed.  I brought it up to the family and they said well, the only comment was, “Well, you live by the gun, you die by the gun.”  But I did not really, really settle for that.  I still wanted to see a trial and see what would have been the outcome.”


That individual is said to have been Charles Woodye.  Though his name was never mentioned during the trial, the family was informed on separate occasions that the now deceased gang affiliate may have played a role in the murder.  He too, it is believed, was a passenger inside Lopez’s stolen vehicle.


Mayor Simeon Lopez

“You know that there were more than one or two or maybe even three people in the car.  How they got in the car I don’t know, that we did not find out. Of those two people, Paul Jex and the other person who was captured from the canal, [none of them] will not reveal any names, [they] will not talk.”


Isani Cayetano

“Mr. Lopez, what is your feeling towards the accused.  I know he has since been exonerated but what is your feeling towards this individual?”


Mayor Simeon Lopez

“I still have no ill feelings towards him.  I mean, he’s a young man, I would only hope that he looks back now and thinks of what happened, if he did it or he didn’t do it and try to reform his life and try to be a meaningful person within our society.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


Wednesday night’s verdict officially closes the case of Aubrey Lopez’s murder. The presiding judge was Justice Adolph Lucas, while Kayshia Grant prosecuted the case. 

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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7 Responses for “Paul Jex freed of murder; Mayor Simeon Lopez reflects on the trial”

  1. LOL says:

    Well the father is handling the trial in a positive way.

  2. Rod says:

    Useless pm and gov.

  3. Dorian Castillo says:

    God no di sleep!

    We see what happen to da fool woodye and what happen to they next four fools…

    I might no be rite away but the good thing is God is surely not asleep!

    Hope they ready!

    Di saddest part this jack and his family knows the truth and still they feel they get weh big
    i’ll say it once more

    GOD NO DI SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. SHADY says:

    What happened to the other persons that was in the car?

  5. Elgin Martinez says:

    It must be scarey living in a place where you can be murdered with impunity.

  6. Merlene Hyde says:

    Unfortunately, that’s Belizean justice. In Belize, we work very hard to keep murderers on the streets. If an award was given to the country who has set the most murderers free, Belize would win, hand over fist. We would come in first. Those who are in power need to change things. Something is very wrong with the Belize justice system. And that set of useless jurors, they must have all been knocked on the heads as babies.
    Instead of the justice system providing closure to the grieving family, they have opened their wounds afresh and even threw salt on it.
    We need some “Townsend justice” with this one. His day will come and the rest of them who think they are free, their day will come too. So right, God no d sleep and God no like ugly!

  7. Jesus says:

    Indeed God is not sleeping. God justice and judgement is real. Our prayers go for the Lopez family and to all of those that have lost a loved one due to murder.

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