45-year-old Albert Martinez was spared jail time after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of “causing death by careless conduct” in the fatal traffic accident that took the life of 6-year-old Ashanty Pollard. Martinez who had originally been indicted for “manslaughter by negligence” pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of “causing death by careless conduct” as a result of prosecution amending the charge. In court, Martinez expressed remorse for causing the death of Pollard. As a result, Justice Colin Williams imposed a non-custodial sentence and fined him three thousand dollars, which is to be paid by September 1, 2020. After the court hearing, the media got Ashanty Pollards’ father, Seyon Pollard’s reaction to the judgment.
Seyon Pollard, Ashantay Pollard: “That doesn’t sound fair because the judge didn’t say anything about his license and he never put the amount, I don’t think that’s really justice, it’s partial. It’s not fair to me.”
Reporter: What would have liked to see, can you share with us?
Seyon Pollard, Ashantay Pollard: “Well his license should be terminated and more justified manner the judge should have carried out.”
Reporter: Now talk to us about Ashanti. At the time of the incident did she die right away?
Seyon Pollard, Ashantay Pollard: “She died on the spot , on impact. I was at the scene after but the doctor said that she died as she got hit. It was really tragic so she didn’t suffer the pain really but it affected me a lot but mostly my son because he keeps asking for his sister and that bothers me a lot. Right now he’s not asking but he still brings up the name sometimes because she was the older one.”
The accident occurred at approximately 6:40 p.m. on February 26, 2017. Martinez was driving a Toyota corolla car under the influence of alcohol on Faber’s Road Extension in Belize City when he knocked down and killed Ashanty Pollard. Pollard was walking with her mother, Dawn Swasey, at the time of the accident. Pollard died on the spot while her mother received minor injuries. In court, Martinez was unrepresented while Crown Counsel Portia Staine-Ferguson prosecuted the case.