18 year old Wilser Echeverria, accused murderer of a Panamanian Diplomat, was arraigned on Thursday, on the charge of theft of motor vehicle and theft of cellular phone. He could not be arraigned for murder since the defendant pled self-defence and according to the Statute Laws of Belize once a defendant pleads self-defence the prosecution must get a written directive from the office of the DPP before seeking indictment.
So why didn’t they consult the DPP? Because of a memo sent to all formations, sub formations, and regional commanders.
The memo states that, “The practice of consulting the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as to whether to charge a person or persons for murder or any other crime must cease forthwith.”
The memo was signed by Russell Blackett Sr., ACP and head of National CIB.
On Thursday, Wilser Echeverria appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Aretha Ford, and was arraigned for theft . The prosecutors appealed that bail not be considered since the charges of theft were in relation to murder.
Through tears Wilser Echeverria explained he was the father of a two month old child, and had a responsibility to take care of his family. He also ended by saying “What happened was not my choice.”
Magistrate Aretha Ford ruled in favour of the prosecution to not grant him bail. He is, however, allowed to apply for bail at the Supreme Court at any given time.
His case now moves to the Supreme Court on January 27th 2015.