July 4, 2022

CCJ orders release of convicted Belize murderer

Pin It

From Jamaica Observer

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Wednesday ordered the release of Japhet Bennett, who had been found guilty of a 2009 murder in Belize.

Bennett had been convicted of murdering Ellis Meighan Sr in Belize City and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013.

During his trial, Marlon Middleton, the brother in law of the murdered man, denied sections of his statement to the police that had identified Bennett as standing over the body with a gun. The jury, however, found him guilty of murder despite a submission by his attorney that there was little evidence to convict his client.

The CCJ, by a 4-1 majority decision, allowed Bennett’s appeal after it found that there had been no other evidence which could have allowed the jury to properly assess the reliability of Middleton’s statement, and for that reason, the trial judge should have stopped the trial.

Justice Denys Barrow explained that there was no useful value in Middleton’s description of the shooter, his attire and the gun because there was no other evidence to confirm any of these matters.

He said that on the evidence “the jury would have been left to guess and could only reach a guilty verdict on a gut feeling”.

Additionally, Justice Barrow found the fact that Middleton waited two days to make the statement, in circumstances where he was first on the scene of his sister’s husband’s murder, undermined the reliability of his statement.

IMAGE: The Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad.

For more on this story go to: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/ccj-orders-release-of-convicted-belize-murderer_147288?profile=1470

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind

*