Jury acquits one of two murder accused

A jury of his peers has acquitted Cordel Flores, aged 26, of the 2009 murder of eighteen year old Alberto Allen, but were not able to reach a unanimous verdict in respect of a second accused, 23 year old Warren Lewis.

 

The re-trial ended just after nine Thursday night when the jury of 9 women and 3 men returned to the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez with the verdict, following five hours of deliberations which started at 4:42 p.m. after summation by Justice Gonzalez.

Cordel Flores was unanimously acquitted, but a single juror disagreed with his 11 colleagues that Warren Lewis was guilty of Allen’s murder.

Warren Lewis has been sent back to the Belize Central Prison on remand, pending a determination by the Director of Public Prosecutions if Lewis will be indicted for Allen’s murder.

Alberto Allen was shot in the back and his throat was cut on August 18, 2009. Allen’s body was found on a feeder road off the George Price Highway near Mile 4.

vlcsnap-2015-01-23-05h11m30s68The sole evidence against Warren Lewis was his caution statement to police, admitting responsibility for Allen’s death.

Warren Lewis spoke to three senior officers, including now-Senior Superintendent Alford Grinage, but from the dock he said he was first induced by the senior officer to speak on the understanding that he would help him out because he, Grinage, knew his father, and was then beaten by then-Sergeant Nicolas Palomo after refusing to repeat his statement to corroborate Grinage’s notes without caution.

As for Cordel Flores, he was found in a vehicle with Warren Lewis, with blood on his fingers matching Alberto Allen’s blood type, but there was nothing else linking him to the crime.

Oscar Selgado defended Warren Lewis; Alifa Elrington-Hyde defended Cordel Flores, and Crown Counsel Sheiniza Smith prosecuted.

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