On Wednesday, February 13th, a Jury of 5 men and 7 women went into the deliberating room from 4:10 pm after Justice Adolph Lucas summarized the details of the case for them to consider. During the course of the two week trial, the prosecutor Crown Counsel Kaysha Gran called upon 14 witnesses.
His main witness was a 20 year old resident of George Street, who claimed to be a co-conspirator of the murder. Fearing for his life, the main witness did not testify, however, the statement he gave the police was admissible in the court. He claimed that he saw Paul Jex pull the trigger.
Reports are that between the hours of 11:00 pm and 11:25 pm on May 12, 2010 [LOPEZ PIC] Aubrey Lopez, son of Belmopan Mayor and a teacher at E. P. York High School, was on his way to a school function when his vehicle was allegedly hijacked by a group of men. Aubrey Lopez was later shot on the back of the head once and thrown out of his vehicle leaving him to die on Prince Street.
However, after almost 5 hours in the deliberating room the 12 jurors finally came to a unanimous decision and at around 9:00 pm, on Wednesday night, returned a verdict of ‘not-guilty’.
Mr. Paul Jex was defended by Senior Counsel Bernard Q. Pitts, Sr., and Tricia Pitts-Anderson, who spoke to us on the night the trial ended.
“Our instructions were that he was nowhere in the vicinity. So, we presented a defense of alibi”.
Reporter: “Can you explain to us what was that particular defense. How did he explain himself and the situation where he was discovered with his vehicle?”
Ms. Tricia Pitts Anderson: “I wouldn’t want to go in the facts that were in the case, but clearly, the jury listened very carefully to all the evidence and that is the sentence that they came to, but I wouldn’t want to go to all that evidence at this time”.
Reporter: “Mom, how long has your client waiting for this trial for this particular night?”
Ms. Tricia Pitts Anderson: “He has been on remand since May, 2010, I believe”.
Reporter: “In that particular time, has his defense ever waiver that look, I was always the wrong person that was charged for this?”
Ms. Tricia Pitts Anderson : “You are asking me what’s my client’s instructions and really and truly, I cannot do that”.
Ms. Tricia Pitts Anderson: “Well, I don’t know; I haven’t seen him. So, that should say a lot”.
An overly excited Paul Jex, came out of the court room like a champion intimately embraced by his mother. He wasted no time in turning his back on everyone and riding off. Meanwhile, Mayor Simeon Lopez related to us, his family’s reaction to the final verdict.
“Aubrey Lopez is dead; we will never get him back, but with the opening of the trial, it did open some scars again. I tried to be normal and tried to take it as manly as I could. My wife sort of broke down after the verdict and so, my emotion did come up a little bit, so, I escorted her out of the courtroom along with my daughter. That was the only emotion I got because of my wife’s reaction to the verdict. But besides that, I try to be strong in support of the family”.
According to the Mayor, about two years ago, he was informed, through an anonymous text message, that his son’s murderer had been shot and killed in Belize City. He did not settle for that however and still pressed for a trial, in hopes of uncovering the entire truth.
Mayor Simeon Lopez: “Mine and my family’s only concern was to get the truth and the whole truth. A as far as we would know, we would never know who killed Aubrey and why. if I believed that justice did not take its course here physically, I know that it will be served someday, not by me or by my family, but by a Higher Power”.
As for Mr. Paul Jex, Mayor Simeon Lopez says he still does not hold any ill feelings towards him and only hopes that the accused, whether he was truly guilty or not, makes wiser decisions in the future. Aubrey Lopez is survived by his wife and his now 12 year old son.