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Tehje Vaughan must stand trial for manslaughter by negligence in shooting of co-worker following preliminary inquiry

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2024. 8:53 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Tehje Coren Hazel Vaughan, 24, a customer services representative at Holy Redeemer Credit Union, will be tried for the shooting death of her colleague and friend, Charles Alexander Cantun, 30.

Cantun, Vaughan, and another were socializing near Alaska, a popular store on 2nd Street, King’s Park, Belize City, nearly a year ago on April 28, 2023, when Cantun was allegedly shot once from behind while sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV, allegedly with his licensed nine-millimeter pistol.

Chief Magistrate Jayani Wegodapola on Friday presided over a preliminary inquiry, the usual procedure for bounding over an accused for trial on an indictable matter in the High Court.

Defense attorney Leeroy Banner, who represented Vaughan, made clear for the record that he was not challenging any of the statements in the deposition against his client and conceded that based on the documents before the court, there is sufficient evidence to send the matter up to the High Court for trial.

After the prosecution presented more than 20 statements and documentary evidence against Vaughan the Chief Magistrate concluded that there was a prima facie case made out. She committed her to stand trial beginning at the June session of the High Court, set to commence on June 12.

Vaughan’s old bail was revoked and she was offered new bail of $10,000 plus one surety or two sureties of $5,000 each.

Cantun’s sister told our court reporter off-camera that the hearing was a very emotional time for her, especially hearing the Prosecutor going through her brother’s case and the tendering of the pictures including the ones of him post-mortem.

She is optimistic about the outcome of the case and the decision of committal to the High Court.

When asked if she had an alibi witness in court, Vaughan through her attorney had no names to furnish to the court and received the standard warning that the defense has seven working days to do so in writing.


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