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Kareem Martinez handed 18-year prison term for manslaughter of Laddie Gillett

Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2023. 11:16 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: One month after being found guilty by High Court Justice Antoinette Moore of the manslaughter of 14-year-old Laddie Gillett, former Corporal of Police Kareem Martinez today learned he would spend 18 years behind prison bars.

Martinez was accused of shooting Gillett, originally of the Cayo District, in the back on the beach in Placencia, Stann Creek, in July of 2021.

The young man and a friend of his, Thomas Palacio, were heading back home to avoid being out after curfew as police had been called to investigate a disturbance.

In her April judgment, Justice Moore found that neither Martinez nor any of the officers present that night had any legal basis to suspect Gillett of committing or being about to commit a crime, or otherwise being a public nuisance, and therefore of no lawful authority to use justifiable and deadly force against him. She also faulted their handling of Gillett’s friend Thomas Palacio, the key witness in the case.

Martinez and attorney Oscar Selgado plan an appeal, while Gillett’s family continues to press for police and legal reform.

 

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