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Calaney Flowers avoids further prison time after guilty plea to manslaughter

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2024. 12:28 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Calaney Flowers, a former bank teller and prison accountant, now an entrepreneur, is a free woman after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of her ex-boyfriend, Lyndon Morrison, the father of her 12-year-old son. This morning, the High Court of Justice Derick Sylvester handed down a 10-year sentence, with a significant portion suspended, allowing Flowers to avoid further prison time.

Flowers, 37, had been out on bail awaiting a retrial after a tumultuous legal journey. Initially acquitted of murder in 2017, she had migrated to the USA but was detained by U.S. immigration authorities when the Belizean Director of Public Prosecutions successfully appealed her acquittal, prompting a retrial.

In a dramatic turn of events, Flowers opted to utilize recently passed legislation allowing for plea bargains and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Both the prosecution and defense agreed on the mitigating and aggravating factors in the case.

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The agreed facts presented in court revealed that on August 28, 2012, Flowers, in a fit of rage, intentionally rammed her vehicle into the motorcycle driven by Morrison, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa. The collision resulted in severe injuries to Morrison, who succumbed to his injuries the following day. Although Flowers did not initially admit guilt to the police, she confessed to Morrison’s mother shortly after the incident.

In her statement to the court, Flowers expressed deep remorse, saying, “I regret the accident that happened. Sorry for any pain and suffering caused to his family and to my family and most regrettably, to my son.” She also highlighted her previous clean record and contributions to society, emphasizing her role as a single mother and productive citizen.

Justice Sylvester, in his sentencing, acknowledged the extensive time Flowers had already spent in the criminal justice system, including the five years she spent on remand. He noted that Flowers had shown remorse and had taken responsibility for her actions. Consequently, he sentenced her to 10 years in prison but suspended five years, effectively freeing her from further incarceration.

Flowers’ attorney, Leeroy Banner, presented three character witnesses who spoke of her good character and contributions to the community. Justice Sylvester considered these testimonies, along with the fact that Flowers had no prior convictions and had been a productive member of society, in his sentencing decision.

The judge also advised Flowers to seek counseling for herself and her son, acknowledging the emotional toll the case had taken on them. Additionally, arrangements were discussed to ensure that Morrison’s family could have more visitation time with his son, who is entering high school in September.

Flowers, supported in court by her mother and a former bank colleague, chose not to comment after the sentencing. Her journey through the criminal justice system has been arduous, but today marks the end of a long and painful chapter in her life.

In a final note, Justice Sylvester commended Flowers for her resilience and responsibility, advising her to continue being a good mother and citizen. Flowers’ case serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities of the legal system and the enduring impact of crime on all those involved.

 

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