They were both accused of the March 24, 2014 murder of Valentin Duarte which occurred in Cowpen Village, Stann Creek District, Belize. Duarte was shot and later hospitalized at the KHMH where he survived for five days until he succumbed to his injuries on March 24, 2010.
The prosecution called 8 witnesses to testify in the murder trial that ended in an acquittal before Justice Denis S. Hanonman Singh in a trial by judge without jury.
The main and most crucial testimony in the murder trial was that of the crown’s main witness, Duarte’s wife, who was the only eye witness to the murder.
The case hinged on identification but Duarte’s wife did not give the police a proper description of the three men she claimed killed her husband.
The two men who were accused of the murder were both Guatemalans and were in the country illegally. Duarte’s wife had attended an identification parade and picked out the two accused men.
However, in re-examination during the trial, she told the court that when the two accused were arrested, the police showed her a picture of Adelso Rodriguez and told her his name.
With that, the attorneys for Adelso Rodriguez argued that the identification was flawed. Attorneys for the accused men made no case submissions which the judge accepted.