Three accused murderers were acquitted yesterday in the Belmopan Court. You may recall the highly sensational 2010 story of the murder of Raylene Dyer whose body was never found but the gruesome story came out after three men confessed to the brutal murder of the 18 year old and the kidnapping of her 3 month old baby by the alleged female mastermind.
In three separate caution statements, Brandon Budna, Jason Anderson, and Darren Banner admitted they were in a van with Raylene who begged them not to kill her. One of the guys went behind her and slit her throat.
When they realized she was not dead, they chopped off her head and threw her head and body in the water. They said that the then 19 year old University of Belize student, Aracely Cahueque, asked them to do it so that she could steal Raylene’s baby.
Aracely was charged with murder and abettment to murder after the baby was found in Ontario village where Aracely’s ex boyfriend said Aracely brought the baby to him saying it was his and she needed money.
Even with the caution statements made by the three men, the case fell apart. That is because the three accused men claimed that they gave those statements under duress as police had beat them.
The investigating officer, Hilberto Romero, told the courts that the guys confessed in Belmopan, however, he took the caution statements in Belize City. He also said he took the statements on the same day but the three statements from the three different guys clearly showed different dates on them.
Throwing a further wrench in the prosecution’s case was the testimony of the Justice of the Peace who witnessed the signing of the caution statement . She testified that the man that she observed was cold sweating and did not look at ease while signing.
Because the caution statement was the basis of the prosecution’s case and with so many inconsistencies, all three were acquitted yesterday.
Inspector Hilberto Romero, who also took Aracely’s statement, also testified today about the circumstances surrounding the taking of that statement.
We are still unsure as to whether Aracelly will be asked to take the stand but the trial continues tomorrow. Aracely’s Court appointed attorney is Dickie Bradley while the Court Prosecutor is Cecil Ramirez.