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Crime and Violence Report in Belize

Crime and Violence Report in Belize

Crime and Violence Report in Belize

Friday, April 25, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Former Special Constable Jose Haylock, 36, charged with three counts of firearm offenses: keeping an unlicensed firearm (one count) and keeping unlicensed ammunition (two counts), was sentenced this evening to five years on each count by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith after changing his plea from not guilty, to guilty.

The sentences were ordered to run concurrently, so Haylock will only be jailed for five years.

Haylock changed his plea after seeing videotapes of the search at his house, which were introduced at the trial.

The search occurred on February 11, 2012 at Haylock’s residence on Louise Bevans Street and was carried out by members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU).

The GSU brought a search warrant and recovered a .22 caliber pistol with ten rounds of ammunition in the magazine under the cushion of a single couch, as well as eleven rounds of 9mm ammunition in a blue purse. Haylock was present at the search.

His common-law wife Corrine Martinez was charged jointly with him but she was released after their attorney Arthur Saldivar successfully submitted that she did not have a case to answer.

Saldivar also made a plea for mitigation for Haylock, citing the precedent set in the Gino Peck case in January.

The Corporal was famously let go with just a fine by Chief Magistrate Smith after a section of the Summary Jurisdiction (Procedure) Act was used to justify avoiding a custodial sentence.

Prosecutor Crown Counsel Kaysha Grant submitted that the court erred in that determination, and the Chief Magistrate ultimately decided that the two cases were distinguishable.

She chastised the Special Constable for allowing the “charade” to continue for two years, knowing full well, she said, that he was in fact guilty.

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