Corwin Bennett walks from murder charge Print E-mail
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Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00

Corwin Bennett was acquitted of murder on Wednesday March 5th, after being on remand for more than 4 years. He had been accused of the January 12, 2011 murder of Kraal Road leader, Raymond "Killa" Gentle. He was thought to be one of two men who either shot or accompanied the shooter when Gentle was killed.

The decision was handed down by Supreme Court judge, Adolph Lucas at around 10:00 a.m. The matter had concluded on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 and the judgment came one week later.

 In acquitting Bennett, Judge Lucas noted that, “While he believed that the accused gave two oral and two written statements, and that he is convinced that the accused gave those statements to the police and that they were in no way induced by the police, he is convinced that the crown did not prove that the two statements given to the police were true."

Judge Lucas also pointed out that he was not sure of the evidence presented by Elvis Bevans, who is Gentle’s brother. In the trial Bevans failed to identify Bennett as the gunman. He told the court that while he saw the shooter whom he set chase after, he did not point out Bennett as that shooter in court during the trial.

Judge Lucas concluded to say that the crown did not prove beyond  reasonable doubt that it was Bennett who was the person engaged in a joint enterprise to kill Raymond Gentle. With that he told Bennett that he was not guilty and was free to go. 

In court Bennett was not shy about expressing satisfaction clapping his hands and smiling joyfully. He even wanted to run out of the courtroom, but as is the procedure, Bennett was first escorted by the court orderly to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court holding cell where checks were made to make sure he was not wanted back at the prison for any pending case. Within 10 minutes, Bennett exited the magistrate court area and sat for 2 to 3 minutes on the waiting bench, where his mother who was at court came hurriedly in a taxi and he rushed into it and disappeared from the court area.

According to the crown's evidence in the trial, Bennett in one of his statements told the police that he was the shooter.  Then in another statement he told them he had only accompanied the shooter to commit the crime. In a dock statement, Bennett told the court that the only reason he gave the statements to police was because he was allegedly threaten by a well-known George Street associate who told him that if he did not take the rap he would be killed.