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Albert Jones released on time served following manslaughter conviction

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2024. 8:57 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: A guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter worked out for 51-year-old Albert Jones, whose term of 15 years was essentially knocked down to time served after various deductions by the High Court.

Marcel Cardona, Jones’ attorney, explained that the victim, 35-year-old Alaine Garcia of Hattieville, Belize District, was not entirely innocent, and that factored into the sentence: “The very gentleman who he is accused of murdering was the gentleman who had [allegedly] physically abused his kid, Albert Jones Jr., about two and a half months earlier. So apparently, Albert, who was also suffering from mental health issues, as was certified by the chief government psychiatrist, Dr. Alejandro Matus, decided then and there that, well, you know something, he was going to end any further threat to his son by ending the guy, which is what happened then and there. And the court took all of those different factors into consideration, including the ailing health of the defendant, Mr. Jones, and decided to sentence him to manslaughter to six years imprisonment with consideration for the time already served.”

Back in February of 2018, Garcia was last seen alive when walking his 3 children and common-law wife to the bus stop in the Windmill area of Hattieville. When he did not return home, a missing person report was made on February 20, but no trace of him has ever been found, and in fact, police had no leads in the case until Jones made a sudden confession.

Two weeks ago, Jones changed his plea after a voir dire confirmed that his caution statement to police would be admitted in evidence. Specific utterances alluding to his guilt were not admitted but his full statement to then-head of Police Crimes Investigation Branch in Eastern Division, Senior Superintendent Alejandro Cowo, was admitted in which he went into detail about Garcia’s death.

Jones admitted to chopping Garcia from behind in the back of the neck and arm near Hector Creek with a machete that he threw into the creek, and stole cash and a bead chain from him; but he was not clear on whether Garcia fell into the creek himself or whether he, Jones, pushed him in.

 

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