At news time a jury of 9 women and 3 men were deliberating the guilt or innocence of 26 year old Cordel Flores and 23 year old Warren Lewis, who are charged with the murder of Alberto Allen. The case is being tried before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Supreme Court.
During the first trial in March of 2013 a juror made comments in the presence of a police officer in favour of the accused, which the prosecution said showed evidence of prejudgment and bias, which would deny the men a fair trial. A mistrial was declared and a trial before a new jury ordered.
On August 18, 2009, Flores and Lewis are accused of driving Allen in Lewis’s car to a feeder road off Mile 4 on the George Price Highway, then shooting him in the back after exiting the vehicle. Alberto Allen was also slashed in the throat and had a piece of stick pushed down his throat, as well as head injuries caused by a blunt instrument.
In testimony, Coroner Dr. Mario Estradabran certified the cause of death to be trauma from the throat slash.
A trio of witnesses testified to Warren Lewis admitting to killing Alberto Allen as previously described and he gave a caution statement now in evidence admitting to killing Allen.
However, attorney Oscar Selgado accused Senior Superintendent Alford Grinage of inducing Lewis to give the statement, allegedly promising to “help him through the case” as a favor to his father. Lewis claimed to believe what Grinage said which motivated him to speak up. The statement Senior Superintendent Grinage took down was not given after caution and when Sergeant Nicolas Palomo was called in to corroborate the senior officer’s hearing of the confession, Lewis refused to repeat it and Sgt. Palomo allegedly punched him in the stomach, put a pistol to his head and threatened to blow it off if he did not. Lewis gave in, but from the prisoner’s dock, maintained that he did not commit the crime.
He said that on August 18, 2009, he got out of his vehicle on Central American Boulevard, Belize City, and went to a store to buy some items. He said when he returned to his car, he saw a man of dark complexion sitting in his car. He said the man pointed a pistol at him and ordered him to drive to Faber’s Road.
He said that when they reached an undisclosed location on Faber’s Road, he was ordered to stop and when he did, 2 men entered his car with what appeared to be a human body wrapped in blue canvas. He said the gunman ordered him to drive to a dirt road off mile 4 on George Price Highway and about 200 yards into the road the men dumped that body they had in the canvas. Lewis said the men then made him drive them to Faber’s Road where they got out.
Warren Lewis said he then drove to Jane Usher Boulevard, where he met Cordel Flores and Flores asked him for a lift. He said that after Flores got in the car he told Flores what had happened. It was then, said Lewis, the police came and detained them.
Cordel Flores, who was represented by Attorney Alifa Elrington Hyde, gave a statement from the dock in which he denied that he committed the crime. He said he was nowhere near the scene at the time. The evidence from the prosecution was that a .380 pistol was found under the passenger seat in Lewis’ car when they detained him and Flores. But according to Selgado, the prosecution failed to establish whether the .380 slug found in Allen’s body matched the rifling inside the barrel of the gun found in Lewis’ car.
The Crown is being represented by Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith who was also prosecutor in the first aborted trial.