28 year old Darryl Alvarez was committed for trial at the end of his preliminary inquiry in the Magistrate’s Court despite denying any involvement before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.
An unrepresented Alvarez asked the Chief Magistrate to take a visit to the area where the fire occurred, located in the Gungulung area so she can see that the fire was caused by an illegal electricity connection which he says has been set up from 2006. He also asked her to visit BEL and request information as to whether or not if there has been electricity at the house of Kent Skeet which he insists there was not.
He said that the entire allegations made against him as the culprit was a fabricated story. The home burned down on August 1 and the National Fire Service was ruled to have been caused by arson.
The case is built mainly on circumstantial evidence as no one saw Alvarez set the blaze; however, his aunt made a statement to police that on the day of the incident, she and her nephew got into an argument because he believed that she was putting him out of the house and as a result, he threatened to burn it down.
Just seconds later, according to his sister, she saw him in the yard and then he took his bicycle and rode off. 15 seconds after he left, the house began to smoke and fire ignited. Sonia Harris, who was visiting Belize and was in the midst of renovating her house, lost everything in the fire.
Alvarez was granted bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount and Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith warned him that his conditions to his bail remains the same and that he must report to the police station once a week and stay away from his aunt and other relatives who are witnesses in the case against him.
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