Second Trial by Judge gets underway Print E-mail
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Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:00

NicholiThe murder trial against 22-year -old Nicholi Rhys, got underway in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth A. Benjamin on Tuesday, January 29th. The case is one which is being pursued without a jury, the second such case in Belize's history.

Rhys’ trial began at 10:00 a.m., where the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl- Lynn Vidal represented the crown. Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson is representing Rhys.

Allegations being made against Rhys are that on June 10th, 2010, shortly after 10:00 a.m., Andre Trapp had just spoken to two people in the parking lot adjacent to the Magistrate's Court in downtown Belize City when he was shot.

In court, PC Alrick Arnold, who was on duty escorting someone from the Belize Family Court, said he saw Trapp fall to the ground and shortly thereafter, he saw a green vehicle coming towards him.

Special Constable, Charles Usher also testified that he found a man crouched in a nearby alley. He and other officers approached the person and after he was questioned, the man admitted that he was the person who had fired shots. He was later identified as Nicholi Rhys.

According to DPP Vidal, there are no witnesses to the shooting murder of Trapp, as the case is based on circumstantial evidence, linking Rhys as that person.

She intends to call 11 witnesses to the stand before closing her case.

Rhys’ trial is the first murder case to be heard in the Supreme Court by a judge with no jury. He is the second accused Belize City resident to be tried before a judge without a jury.

In 2011, Akeem Thurton was tried before the Chief Justice for the attempted murder of the Prime Minister’s law partner, Rodwell Williams. He was later found guilty of that charge and sentence to 15 years imprisonment.