In 2010, attorney Richard Stuart and his wife, Maria, were viciously stabbed to death at their home located in West Landivar in Belize City. Today, the trial against the accused, Eli Lopez Avila and Milton Maza commenced before Justice Colin Williams. Oscar Selgado, who is representing Maza, explained to the media why it took so long for the case to be tried.
Attorney Oscar Selgado:“This case had a lot of technicalities to in in the sense that it is purported to have DNA evidence and the DNA testing had to go abroad to Jamaica and so it took some time for the state to have acquired the proper DNA testing and to get the results back to Belize. And then the provision of the law had required at that time that the person who did the testing to have ought to be in Belize so the crown had the obstacle of bringing that person to Belize. But since the amendment of the evidence act the person can now give his deposition as an expert through a third party or have it read into evidence by a third party and that is where it eased the burden on the crown. Secondly there was difficulty in finding representation for the defendants, both defendants. As you know in Belize capital offences the crown is obliged to provide representation if the persons cannot find representation on their own and in this instance there was some difficult in finding representation for both defendants and that is because understandably the victims were people of standing in society- Richard was an attorney and his wife Maria was in fact an accountant of esteemed stature so there was some hesitation from attorneys to make representation.”
A total of six witnesses were called to establish that the Stuarts are indeed dead. The case continues tomorrow.