Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019. 6:24 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Twenty-year-old Brandon Anderson and a minor, 16 at the time, who were charged with the murder of Canadian filmmaker Matthew Klink, were acquitted of the charge today by Justice Antoinette Moore at the Belmopan Supreme Court in a trial without a jury.
Klink’s attackers brutally stabbed him between January 2 and January 4, 2016, at his residence, in Selena Village, just outside of Spanish Lookout, Cayo District. His body was found with 16 stab wounds, on January 4 in his yard. Over $4,000 was stolen from his house and police suspected robbery as the motive.
The main evidence for the Crown, represented by Crown Counsel, Natasha Muhammad, was a caution statement given to the police by Anderson in which he incriminated himself. Anderson’s attorney, Leeroy Banner, challenged the validity of the statement, which he submitted violated the Commissioner of Police’s rule that came into effect on January 1, 2016. The rule states that there must be a video recording of the caution statement and the police, in Anderson’s case, did not do that.
Banner also submitted that, more importantly, Anderson’s siblings, one of them a minor, were detained along with him on January 5, 2016, and although the police had no reason to suspect that they had anything to do with Klink’s murder. They were held in custody until the following day, January 6. Banner further submitted that the police told Anderson that if he gave them a statement, they would release his siblings.
Justice Moore did not accept Anderson’s statement as evidence and the only evidence the Crown had to rely on was the money allegedly found at Anderson’s residence. Nevertheless, Justice Moore ruled that this was not enough to warrant a conviction of murder. Therefore, when Banner and Ronell Gonzalez, the attorney for the minor, submitted that their clients did not have a case to answer, Justice Moore concurred and acquitted both accused.
The Crown would have had a case for the minor to answer because of fingerprints that matched his that were found inside a pair of gloves that were discovered under the bottom of Klink’s house. However, when the police processed the minor he was treated as an adult.
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