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Mother desperate to file appeal against ‘not guilty’ verdict for men accused of killing her daughter, seeks public support

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2022. 12:49 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Shirley Mai, whose 18-year-old daughter Keonia Ara was brutally murdered in 2017, is pleading for support to file an appeal against the not guilty verdict handed down for the men accussed of the murder.

On February 23, Jaime Patnett and Shaylon Santos, were found not guilty in the Belmopan Supreme Court. Mai met with the media today, explaining that the 21-day window to file the appeal ends today, but she has not gotten any assistance from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Belize Police Department.

Mai said that she has made several calls and several visits to the DPP’s office seeking an audience to discuss the appeal, but on a number of occasions has been told that the DPP is unavailable, and in other instances did not receive a response at all. She also stressed that she has made several attempts to contact Police Commissioner Chester Williams, but has been unsuccessful in doing so.

“So it’s like me against the world right now. So I am pleading to the public, as a mother, to please stand up,” Mai said. “We let too many things go unanswered…and a lot of mothers are going through the same thing. I will not stop until we open our mouths.”

Mai said she is unsatisfied with the verdict because the men were set free due to lack of evidence; however, she contends that over the course of the trial several witness statements given to police were not tendered as evidence and when she inquired as to why she was told that the evidence “went missing.”

“I would like to know where the evidence went. I would like them to tender the evidence,” Mai said. “I don’t know how something can go missing from out of an office. So I would like them to bring forth what they have because that is not all they had.”

Mai stressed that her daughter was a witness in a court case against one of the accused, which she feels led to her daughter’s murder.

She is asking the public for financial assistance for a legal fund, to fight the case. Those wishing to assist can make a donation at La Inmaculada Credit Union account number 31758 Shirley V Mai.


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