Arturo Ek’s fate to be decided by Appeals Court Judges Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 October 2011 00:00

Arturo EkThe fate of a 22-year-old Corozal resident Arturo Ek now lies in the hands of three Justices of the Court of Appeals. In July of 2010, Ek was convicted of the Murder of his uncle Eugenio Tzul which occurred on November 17th, 2007.

During the trial it was revealed that Ek, Tzul and Isair Martinez were at a local bar in San Joaguin Village when Tzul allegedly made a sexual pass at Ek. Ek was offended and attacked Tzul as he was leaving the bar. Ek and a group of men beat Tzul and then strangled him with a wire and left him there to die. Tzul was later found by his brother.  He was partially nude and a black cable wire was around his neck. Ek was arrested and confessed in a statement to police. However, during the trial Ek said that he never gave police a caution statement and that the signature on the statement was his because he was beaten by police to sign it. Nevertheless, a jury decided that there was overwhelming evidence to convict Ek and after conviction he was sentenced to life in prison.

Ek is appealing the conviction and sentence.  Attorney Simeon Sampson argued on his behalf. He said that the case should have been withdrawn from the jurors because the Trial Judge, Michelle Arana, erred in law when she failed to direct the jury properly on the factor of the murder weapon used in committing the crime because it was the accused who allegedly gave the police a caution statement in which he admitted to beating up Tzul then tying a black cable wire around his neck. He said the one police witness for the prosecution case, Romi Riverol, Scenes of Crime Technician, made no description of the wire before it was shown to him in the form of a picture. Sampson said that that was wrong and improper because he ought to give a proper description of the wire before it was shown to him in court. He concluded by saying that the murder weapon his client allegedly described to the police in the caution statement could not have been the same murder weapon that Riverol had been shown and it should not be assumed  that they are the same murder weapon being spoken of.

The DPP in her submission said that Sampson misinterpreted what the judge meant in her sum up to the jurors as she was just placing before them the many angles that they can infer from the evidence that was before the court and in no way was she instructing them or leading them on.  The judges reserved their ruling for a future date.