Cop convicted of theft Print E-mail
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Thursday, 15 May 2014 00:00

On Monday May 12, Police Constable, Brandon Hertular was found guilty of burglary and theft when he appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith.

Hertular was accused of burglary and theft after a home invasion on March 4, 2012 at the home of Shirley Chicas located in Buttonwood Bay in Belize City. At the time a number of household items were reported stolen including cash, cellular phones and a pistol.

At the time, Hertular was said to be in his camouflage uniform and was positively identified by the victim as one of two men that entered the home and stole the items. Due to insufficient evidence to prove the charge of burglary, the prosecutor, Mrs. Hawk only proceeded with the trial for theft against PC Hertular.

In his defense, Hertular claimed it wasn’t him and that at the time of the alleged incident, he was on duty, working a shift with some police officers.
After listening to the case, Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith found Hertular guilty of the offense. The Magistrate then reserved sentencing until Tuesday when she fined him $2,400. For the stealing of items from Alfonso Chicas, he was fined $1,000 plus $5.00 cost of court. He was fined two $700 fines, a total of $1,400 for the items stolen from Shirley Chicas and Santiago Chicas. 

The Chief in laying down the 3 fines told Hertular, “You showed some level of remorse today, but your action amounted to an abuse of power. You were serving the Police Department and you were dressed in your uniform and you returned once again to the Chicas Family on March 4 and stole their items.  I don’t know what motivated you to behave in that manner.  It is not certain if you assisted the police in capturing your accomplice or u decided to not be a snitch, but you will have to pay some fines regardless.”

The fines came about after his attorney, Anthony Sylvester asked the court to take into consideration that the prosecution did not prove the value of any of the items during the trial.

The Chief Magistrate, also heard mitigation pleas from 3 character witnesses for Hertular. His mother, Anna Hertular, his common-law-wife, Michelle Smith and a friend, Joseph Lawrence, who is a Musician and Operations Manager at MBL. All spoke well of the former BDF and cop.  His mother asked the court to please be lenient with her son who is a father of two young children. She stated that he was their sole provider and that if he goes to jail, they have no one else to depend on.

His common-law-wife was very emotional and asked the court to take into consideration that she just gave birth to their baby girl who is only 2 weeks old.

Jospeh Lawrence the musician told the court that he was surprised by the charges against Hertular as he knew him for 4 years and he never expected something like this from him.

Brandon Hertular’s last words to the court were, “I’ve come to accept  the decision of the court but I would like to ask you if you can please grant me some kind of leniency...”

He asked the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith to please take into consideration that a lot of things had been going on in his life and that he needs to accept her decision but asked her to please find it deep down in her heart to have mercy on him...

 Brandon Hertular concluded by saying, “ I have a 2 weeks old daughter and I would really love as a father to see her grow into a descent young lady...”

Brandon Hertular before today had an immaculate record, with no convictions of any sort.  He served the Belize Defence Force for two years and then joined the Belize Police Department in 2009 until present.

The Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith has given PC Brandon Hertular up until June 6, 2014 to pay all his fines in default of payment, 6 months for the $1,000 fine and 3 months each for the two $700 fines.

On March 4, 2012, the Chicas Family reported that they were at home when two men came to their home and said that they were police officers.  According to Shirley Chicas, the men were dressed in camouflage uniforms. After conducting a search at the home, the men seized a 9 mm Glock pistol, and cash along with other items which they claimed they were going to take to the police exhibit room pending the outcome of some alleged robberies.