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Man found guilty of prison break maintains he had no choice

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Belize Central Prison

Belize Central Prison

Posted: Friday, September 30, 2022. 7:13 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: A 25-year-old man who was charged with escaping from the Belize Central Prison maintains that he had no choice but to do so.

Mark Anthony Pelayo was found guilty in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court yesterday, for his participation in the historic prison break of 2020, which saw almost 30 men escape from the Hattieville facility.

During the entirety of his trial, Pelayo maintained that he only went along with the escape to keep from being harmed by the other prisoners and even called a police witness to testify on his behalf regarding a caution statement that he gave after he was apprehended.

However, the officer told the court that he only facilitated the place for Pelayo to give the caution statement, but that he never reviewed the statement itself to be able to testify of its content in court.

With that, Pelayo was found guilty and sentenced to three months in prison.

Pelayo, who was on remand for robbery at the time was one of 28 men who escaped from the prison on October 3, 2020. The group managed to escape after an inmate pulled a knife on a prison guard and relieved him of his firearm, before freeing several other prisoners.

The incident was the largest prison break in Belizean history.

 

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