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Accused Murderer ‘Dangalang’ back in court

Today, Justice Adolph Lucas heard pleas for mitigation from Attorney Anthony Sylvestre and, the accused, Ernest Thurton Jr. aka “Dangalang”. On September 12, Thurton was found guilty of the murders of Frank James and Robert Young by Justice Lucas in a trial without a jury.  James and Young were shot and killed on the night of October 25, 2012, in a dock yard on North Front Street. A second man, Jasper Brannon, was charged jointly with Thurton, but he was acquitted on August 6, on a no case to answer submission that was made by his attorney, Leslie Hamilton. The character witnesses for Thurton were Nicole Weir and his cousin, Kimberly Arnold. Arnold said that Thurton was a fun loving person who would brighten up her day when it was dull and that Christmas was his favorite season. Weir said that Thurton was her next door neighbor and he was not a bad person. Thurton expressed remorse for what he did and he asked Justice Lucas to be lenient in sentencing him so that he may have the opportunity to re-enter society and prove that he can a good person. Sylvestre asked Justice Lucas to take into consideration that Thurton was only nineteen at the time he committed the offences and there wasn’t any planned or premeditated. Justice Lucas also heard two victim impact statements that were read by Crown Counsel Portia Ferguson. In one statement Radiance Flowers, the common-law wife of James, said that James was a hardworking man and an amazing husband and her health has deteriorated since her loss. In the other statement, Amelia Gumbs, Young’s sister, said that her brother’s death has affected her and her family and has robbed her and her family of peace of mind. Justice Lucas will sentence Thurton on December 18.

Also in the courts today, thirty-two year old David Rosales, an inmate at Belize Central Prison, was charged with exposing himself in public and common assault, when he appeared before Magistrate Albert Hoare. Rosales pleaded not guilty to the charges. The incident occurred around 10:30 a.m. on November 16 at the Belize Central Prison. A 28 year old woman, who is an employee of the Prison, reported to the police that she called Rosales to her office to go and purchase something at the snack shop. She said she gave Rosales the money and Rosales went to the shop and returned with what she asked him to buy. She said Rosales then asked her if he could touch her private parts and she told him, no. She said Rosales repeated his request and she again told him, no. She said Rosales then stretched out his hand and told her that he only wanted a little touch then he would leave. She said she told him, no and she asked him to leave her alone. She said Rosales then asked her if she wanted to see his private part and he unzipped his pants and exposed himself to her. She said he then grabbed her hand, but she managed to get away quickly. She said Rosales then adjusted himself and left her office. His case was adjourned until January 15, 2019.