Guilty Plea: Jared Ranguy pleads guilty to 2012 Triple Murder

Guilty Plea: Jared Ranguy pleads guilty to 2012 Triple Murder

After almost 12 years, Jared Ranguy has pleaded guilty to three counts of murder. Ranguy was charged with the brutal murder of his mother, Karen Skeen; his stepfather, Robert Vellos, and his sister, Teena Skeen back in 2012.  Today he entered his guilty plea virtually in the Belize High Court before Justice Nigel Pilgrim. Outside the courtroom, Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn-Vidal, said that Ranguy’s plea did not come as a surprise and that it saved the court a lot of time. 

Cheryl Lynn-Vidal, Director of Public Prosecutions: “I think that we anticipated because of the way the discussions were going that we would have reached this point. Yes I imagine that the prisoner would have taken a very long time to come to terms with what the sentence might look like if he pleaded guilty to three counts of murder. Whatever operated on his mind in recent months that led him to this point we would not know but I think we can imagine that it would have taken a long process for him to come to that point.  We don’t speak in terms of wins and losses from the prosecution perspective we believe that justice would have required based on the evidence that the accused be convicted. He has chosen to plea guilty instead of going to trial so we think that justice has been served. Well considerable time in terms of the trial itself because there were quite a number of witnesses who would have had to have been called, there would have been voidires in relation to the statement that would have been given admissions that were made so it did save the court some time but of course this matter has been before the court for a very long time.”

As Ranguy pleaded guilty, the courtroom was filled with the sobs of family members, who had gathered for the verdict. The family breathed a great sigh of relief after waiting over a decade, and seeing Ranguy go through multiple attorneys, three trial judges, and two sentencing indications to reach this conclusion. Family member, Rene Skeen, said that the verdict is welcomed and that now the family can continue their healing journey.

Rene Skeen, Relative of Deceased: “We will never get full justice. Three people are dead but for him pleading guilty it kind of helped a little bit. The pain kind of you know we can kinda deal with it a little bit better now. He pleaded guilty and that’s what matters. It doesn’t matter to us whether he was trying to do it with an explanation, ‘I did it but I didn’t mean to do it.’ at the end of the day he killed three people, three family members.”

Reporter: Are you all glad that this didn’t have to go to full trial ? 

Rene Skeen, Relative of Deceased: “Oh of course because then the family wouldn’t have to go relive what happened eleven years ago. I mean we would have had to be in court seeing guns, knives, bloody clothes, everything and it kinda you know it eased the pain a little bit. He’s been trying to manipulate the system for eleven years and justice caught up with him. So at the end of the day we want to thank the justice system in Belize. We said we believe in the system, we’ve been doing interviews with you guys for years and years. We have family members coming from the US just for court every six, eight, nine months. So after trying to manipulate the system for so long justice caught up with him and the family is happy that at the end of the day we got justice. Guilty, that’s all we wanted to hear. Although we would like to see no parole at the end of the day like I said for the family we got what we were requesting; for him to say “Look I’m guilty.” We used to say that, you know you guys interviewed us and you guys asked can we forgive him, I used to say no but now you know what I think I can.”

The three victims were buried side by side at the cemetery in Ladyville. Following the verdict, the family visited the grave, and released balloons in memory of the victims, and as an expression of relief that the case has now concluded. Meanwhile, Ranguy’s sentencing has been set for May 13. The prosecution and Ranguy’s attorney were instructed to have documents submitted to the court by April 22. Justice Pilgrim also ordered a social inquiry report, a victim impact statement, and a psychiatric report from the Belize Central Prison, which will all be considered during sentencing.

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