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Belizeans shot in Champon Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

manzanero.jpg - 43.84 KbIn less than two weeks, two Belizean have been killed while socializing near Melchor. On Friday 17th March, 2017 at 9:00 p.m., police visited the popular Larios Bar located at the Belize Adjacency Zone area (Champon) at the Belize Western Border where they saw the lifeless body of 40-year-old Carlos Manzanero, a Belizean tour operator of San Jose Succotz Village, Cayo. He was seated in a chair with multiple gunshot wounds to his stomach area, right hand and right knee. Manzanero was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 9:20 p.m.
The body of Manzanero now lies at the Western Regional Hospital Morgue awaiting a Postmortem Examination.

Investigation revealed that on that Friday at about 8:50 p.m. while Manzanero was with his wife and brother socializing at Larios Bar, a Hispanic descent male person exited a car with a handgun and started to fire at him. The gunman thereafter re-entered his vehicle and drove off over to Melchor.

Carlos Manzanero was a bus driver for the Marlin Espadas Tour company and would pick up passengers coming from Guatemala at the Western Border every morning.

In the afternoon of March 5, 2017, Amadeos Teck of Bullet Tree Falls Village was shot in the chest and forehead while socializing in Melchor.

Whenever incidents, such as the case with Manzanero,  occur in the Adjacency Zone, the OAS office would be asked to verify the location. Both the Teck and Manzanero cases are being worked on by the Belize Police Department in partnership with Guatemalan Police.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 March 2017 17:13
 
Brandon Taylor acquitted Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

After two weeks on trial, Brandon Taylor, 30, was acquitted of murder. Taylor was accused of shooting and killing Kaylon Matura on May 16, 2012 on Central American Boulevard. Matura was shot four times, once to the back of the head, once to the chest, and twice in his back.

Taylor was brought before Justice Hon. Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court where Justice Lucas presented his oral and written ruling, resulting in Taylor’s acquittal. The ruling followed after the prosecution failed to support all 5 elements of murder. The prosecution, headed by Porsha Staine and assisted by Sherigne Rodriguez, had proven only 3 of those elements.

According to the prosecution, Matura was murdered on May 16, 2012 by Taylor and the act was witnessed by Andrew Willoughby, Taylor’s brother-in-law and the crown’s only eyewitness. Willoughby, in his 2012 statement, had informed the police that he was riding his bike down Central American Boulevard in the rain when from approximately 150 feet away he saw Taylor firing four shots at Matura after which he informed Matura’s common-law wife, Natalie McKenzie.

On stand, Willoughby, presently on remand for murder himself, was hostile and forgetful and was eventually treated as a hostile witness. Willoughby maintained that he did not know anything about the murder. The crown relied heavily on Willoughby’s statement to prosecute Taylor and his statement was declared admissible by Judge Lucas.

Although the admissibility was declared, the judge noted a number of discrepancies and inconsistencies in Willoughby’s 2012 statement. Willoughby claimed to be able to see the caliber of gun used as a .380 in the rain and from 150 feet away. On the stand, McKenzie denied having any communication with Willoughby on that day. Willoughby’s statement also had that Matura was shot 4 times to the chest when in fact forensic evidence proved that he was only shot once to the chest. With that Lucas had a hard time believing those details and was forced to acquit Taylor.

Taylor, represented by Oscar Selgado, previously denied any connection to the murder as he was elsewhere at the time of the murder and presented two alibi witnesses.

The murder was sensational because as a result of the murder of Kaylon Matura, 11 year old Daniel Matura was mistakenly shot by a family member who was looking to retaliate against Taylor. That relative, Andrew Willoughby, was later arrested and charged and is on remand at the Belize Central Prison awaiting his Supreme Court appearance and murder trial.

In 2012, the Matura family lost at least five family members to some sort of gun violence.

Brandon Taylor beat a murder charge some years ago where Glenford Williams, a Security Guard, was shot and later succumbed to his injuries after an armed robbery at Western Union when it was located on Regent Street in Belize City.

 


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