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Verdict due in manslaughter trial of Kareem Martinez

Posted: Monday, March 13, 2023. 10:14 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: According to the Justice for Laddie Foundation, High Court Justice Antoinette Moore is to announce her verdict on a charge of manslaughter against ex-police officer Kareem Martinez in the death of 14-year-old Laddie Gillett on July 14, 2021, tomorrow, Tuesday.

The teen was shot and killed while walking with a friend on a beach in Placencia Village as police responded to reports of a disturbance at a nearby hotel and fired at shadows they suspected were perpetrators.

On the eve of the announcement, the Foundation asked in a statement to “Let’s take a minute to focus on some of the positives that came out of this otherwise tragic chapter in Belize’s history. For amid the damage that Kareem Martinez did to Laddie’s family, friends, and the nation – the loss of a boy so dearly loved, the damage to the reputation of a police department and the many good, decent men and women who serve there; the strained relations between young people and authority, and much more hope….. It’s quite extraordinary, in a world saturated by media and information that so many people have continued to support Laddie’s family, the foundation that bears his name, and, importantly his legacy…. Hopefully, there will be a sense of relief that justice has finally arrived.”

The trial was heard in Dangriga in late January and early February, with defense counsel Richard “Dickie” Bradley assisting the prosecution and defense attorney Oscar Selgado appearing for Martinez.

The Foundation is calling on the public to show their support by joining the family for the announcement of the verdict at the Supreme Court Building in downtown Belize City. However, the foundation is asking for any protest held tomorrow to remain peaceful if the verdict does not represent their hopes and fulfil their sense of fairness.


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