Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2021. 11:24 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Charged in 2016 for the April murder of Gerald “Shiny” Tillett in Dangriga Town, Nicholas Swazo has been found guilty of the crime in the Supreme Court in Dangriga.
Tillett, 37, originally of George Street in Belize City and reputed head of the George Street Gang at the time of his death, was boldly attacked at the Wadani Shed Recreational Center in the Culture Capital on April 15, 2016 while socializing.
Four persons were injured, including Swazo, who was shot to the chest and back while running from the scene by one of the attendees who opened fire with his weapon. Tillett was fatally shot in the back of the head.
Swazo was tried by Justice Antoinette Moore earlier this year on murder and attempted murder charges, according to Channel 7 News, and prosecuted by Senior Crown Counsel Javier Chan. Swazo was represented by attorney Oscar Selgado.
The Crown produced much circumstantial evidence and the written statement of an eyewitness who directly identified Swazo as the trigger man. A recent amendment to the law allowed for the written statements to still be entered as evidence although the witness cannot be brought to testify in person for whatever reason.
Swazo, who insisted on his innocence, produced an alibi witness in his defence and attacked the identification evidence prosecutors used to tie him to the scene.
But he failed to convince Justice Moore, who ruled that although the evidence was mainly circumstantial, the sum total was enough to convince her that the prosecution had proven its case against Swazo.
While Selgado likely prepares for an appeal challenging the admission and exclusion of various pieces of evidence, Swazo will be sentenced on July 23.
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