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Convict goes before Court of Appeal

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In November 2011, 45-year-old taxi driver, Domiciano Quixchan was murdered. Police was led to believe that it was a robbery turned into murder after Hernan Manzanero told police that he along with his girlfriend and baby, was in Quixchan’s taxi at the time and while Quixchan struggled with the two men, he managed to escape with his girlfriend and baby. A few days later, Manzanero’s story came crumbling down and he was charged with Quixchan’s murder and was later convicted when the case came up for trial in 2017. Today, Manzanero, (HERNAN APPEAL VO) who is appealing the sentence appeared before a panel of judges in the Court of Appeals.  Manzanero’s attorney, Leeroy Banner,  argued that Manzanero’s then girlfriend who was the key witness lack credibility since her statement to the police and her testimony to the court differed.  Banner also noted that since the key witness was considered to be an accomplice, the judge should have been cognisant that there was danger in accepting her evidence without corroboration.  The other point was that the judge convicted the appellant without considering the case in its entirety and seemingly only considered the crown’s portion before arriving at the judgement. Meanwhile, the Senior Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith disagreed that the judge was not one-sided in arriving at a conviction. Smith pointed out that the submission was more weighted in favour of the prosecution since there were four witnesses that testified on behalf of the crown while the accused only gave a dock statement.  The Court of Appeals has reserved its judgement to a date to be announced.

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