Accused Shooter Acquitted, Lookout Convicted in High-Profile Murder Trial

Accused Shooter Acquitted, Lookout Convicted in High-Profile Murder Trial

A man who was charged with murder was found not guilty today, while the man accused of being the lookout while he committed the crime was convicted. The rare outcome played out in the High Court of Belize today in a trial-without-jury before Justice Nigel Pilgrim. Thirty-two-year-old Emmerson Garnett was the accused shooter in the 2019 murder of businessman Jose Diaz. Garnett appeared along with co-accused twenty-eight-year-old Leroy Haulze. In delivering his verdict, Justice Pilgrim said that the Crown did not effectively prove that Garnett was the man seen on the security footage, executing Diaz. He pointed to inconsistencies in several testimonies, and that one witness was deemed unreliable. Meanwhile, the Crown had convinced him that Haulze was in fact the man on the scene who shared a joint enterprise in the murder. Garnett was acquitted while sentencing for Haulze has been differed until September 25. On July 17, 2019, fifty-three-year-old Jose Hilario Diaz was shot once in the face inside his clothing store on Cemetery Road in Belize City. He died on the spot.

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