Guatemalan national acquitted of 2008 murder

A Guatemalan national has been acquitted of the 2008 murder of a Belizean man. After a jury of 12 deliberated for some 3 hours yesterday, 44 year old Guatemalan Edilio Rios was found not guilty of the stabbing death of Belizean national 35 year old Pedro Arturo Romero. What was perhaps the most crucial piece of evidence – a written and oral statement in which Rios told police, “He wanted to kill me so I chopped him up,” was thrown out of court. This came hanomansinghafter Justice Hanomansingh ruled that both statements were inadmissible because in his view, the statements were not given voluntarily by the accused. Having no eye witness of the actual chopping incident, the prosecutor had to rely on circumstantial evidence. That circumstantial evidence came in the form of several testimonies, including a woman who testified that she was along with her brothers and some other persons, including the deceased, purchasing food, when Rios attacked them. She said she ran off to her home with her brothers and that’s when she called the police and reported the incident. Also called to the stand were two forensic analysts and police officers, among other persons. But even with these testimonies, the prosecutor, Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez, was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was indeed Rios who killed Romero and Rios was set free. Romero lived in the Valley of Peace of Peace at the time of the murder, which was also where the incident occurred.

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