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Kentroy McKoy acquitted for murder of Arthur Jr. as key witness cannot be located; Walks free after 4 years on remand

Posted: Monday, June 26, 2023. 11:11 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: A Belize City man was acquitted of murder in a ruling handed down late Monday evening by the Supreme Court. 24-year-old Kentroy McKoy had been accused of the execution-style murder of Arthur Flowers Jr. on December 3, 2018. Flowers was found dead at the corner of Queen and Handyside Streets after being shot in the head.

The murder trial began on Monday morning before Justice Ricardo Sandcroft. McKoy was represented by Attorney Oscar Selgado.

The murder case took an unexpected turn when the main crown witness, a male taxi driver who had previously provided police with a statement linking McKoy to the murder, failed to appear in court. Despite multiple attempts to locate him over the past two months, the authorities said they were unsuccessful.

Faced with the absence of the crown’s key witness, the attorney in the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) made a last-minute attempt to admit the missing witness’s statement into evidence. This attempt was, however, quashed by Justice Sandcroft, citing section 105 of the Evidence Act, which requires a witness to be present in court to admit their statement into evidence.

Justice Sandcroft rejectedthe crown’s application saying that the law enforcement officials had not taken “all reasonable steps” to locate the witness. This was a significant blow to the prosecution’s case, and with no further evidence to present, the state attorney was compelled to close its case.

McKoy’s attorney Oscar Selgado then asked the court to consider the prosecution’s failure to present no valid evidence to seek a conviction for murder. Justice Sandcroft agreed with Selgado’s argument and acquitted McKoy of the murder charges.

McKoy, who has spent the last four years and six months in remand, left the courtroom a free man.

 

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