Wilser Echeverria to learn his fate in the murder of Panamanian Ambassador Print E-mail
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Thursday, 19 April 2018 00:00

On his visit to Belize in 2014, Panamanian diplomat Ambassador Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford was murdered. His throat was sliced. Arrested for that crime was Wilser Echeverria and his trial without jury started again in the Belmopan Supreme Court before Justice Antoinette Moore on Tuesday, April 10. The case was delayed on several occasions after Echeverria claimed that he acted in self-defense; he alleged that the 64-year-old ambassador allegedly made sexual advances to him, forcing him to draw for the blade which he used to slice the ambassador’s throat.

In 2014, Echeverria’s attorneys, Richard “Dickie” Bradley and Michelle Trapp-Zuniga, made the point that a man acting in self-defense could not be tried for murder. Regardless, he was charged with murder and on Friday, April 13, that case came to an end. Justice Moore has reserved her ruling for May 25, 2018.

During the trial, Echeverria said that on the day of the murder, he was at the bus terminal in Belmopan when the ambassador invited him for a drink. He got in the SUV and the ambassador took him to a remote location off the Hummingbird Highway where the ambassador started to make sexual advances on him. He resisted but the ambassador refused to back down and proceeded to pull down his pants. That is when he saw a blade in the SUV and used it to slice the ambassador’s throat.

He dumped the ambassador’s body and made away with his SUV and cell phone, both of which he was found with, the following day by police ,at his girlfriend’s residence in Salvapan.