By Aaron Humes: 41 year old Alden Denver Sutherland, a drug addict who has since graduated from the rehabilitation program at the Belize Central Prison, was facing a life sentence for arson.
Tonight, however, he is on the verge of freedom after proving to the court that he is a changed man.
He was accused of breaking into the apartment home of the manager of Jewelry Exchange Company (JEC) Limited on Youth for the Future Drive and later setting his 60-thousand dollar vehicle on fire.
However, Sutherland was sentenced to just two years in prison including time served on remand of 17 months, meaning he could be out before the end of the year.
On September 14, 2014, almost two years ago, without lawful excuse, he intentionally damaged by fire, a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck owned by 43 year old Hector Choj, Manager of JEC, who had parked it in front of the store around 8:30 p.m. before going home upstairs for the night.
According to Choj, the next day at about 2:00 a.m., he was awakened by a security guard who informed him that his vehicle was on fire; it was put out quickly and the damage was limited to the left fiberglass wheel, the left side of the pick-up truck as well as its tires; nonetheless, it was still usable.
Sutherland, a father of two, swore he was sorry for his actions and said the drugs made him do it.
Even with prior convictions the court could only set a minimum of five years based on similar cases and Justice Troadio Gonzalez was convinced in any case that Sutherland did not deserve a heavier sentence.
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