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October 19, 2023
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Too late to apologize? Court reporter to pursue assault charges for cough

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2023. 10:42 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Is it now too late for Epifania Caliz to say sorry?

Court reporter Anita Nembhard made clear today that for her it was. On Monday, Caliz lowered her mask and coughed in her direction as she was leaving court with common-law husband Elmer Nah and her brother, former Police Constable Manuel Caliz on the same firearm and ammunition charges for which they were acquitted today.

The assault happened less than two weeks after Cabinet approved an amendment to the law on assault and threats against certain groups of people, including journalists, which went to the House of Representatives on Friday for first reading. The penalties for these offences will now be increased up to five years, as they are now deemed as serious offences. Today, her attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley told the media that Caliz is under a lot of stress: “Ms. Caliz asked me to please say to the media: that she was under tremendous stress, she’s a public officer and a mom, that her husband is in jail all this time, she has not worked for all the time that she has been arrested wrongfully, and has been – she has been persecuted, not prosecuted. It’s really wild and ridiculous that you’re in a vehicle – there is no proof, whatsoever that you are responsible for any ammunition which belongs to the police, which they know da police ammunition. And that poor woman has suffered to come to court over such a long, long period and has not been able to work all this while. It’s a terrible stress. So she wanted – she was waiting to see – but you all were busy, she wanted to publicly, personally apologize for losing control of her emotions on the last occasion.”

But an agitated Nembhard, a veteran of the court for at least two decades, told fellow reporters that Caliz should know better: “She should have thought twice before doing what she did because she knew also that she had a case before the court. She has a child or she has children. Why are you going to think about that now after what you did?”

Nembhard said she reported the matter to Belama Precinct 4 Police but there were errors and issues with her statement and we left her contacting Caribbean Shores Precinct in West Landivar after learning her complaint should have been made there. We understand her statement has been re-taken and an investigation is underway.

Nembhard said she captured the incident on her camera and wants that entered into evidence.


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