Guilty Verdict in High Court Murder Trial
Cecil Gill, who was accused of stabbing his friend 21-year-old, Phillip Samuels, was found guilty of murder in the High Court of Belize. Gill’s trial without jury before Justice Ricardo O’Neil Sandcroft began on April 20 and concluded today with the guilty verdict. Justice Sandcroft delivered a fifty-page judgment explaining that he considered whether Gill had stabbed Samuels by accident, due to provocation, or in self-defense. Justice Sandcroft concluded that the prosecution managed to prove that Gill had used unjustified force when he stabbed Samuels during an altercation on the night of July 3, 2017. A major factor in the verdict was the testimony of the prosecution’s key witness, who lived in an apartment close to where the two friends fought. The witness testified she Saw Gill standing over Samuels with a knife. She added that she did not see the actual stabbing, but Samuels was bleeding when he got up from the ground after the two got into a struggle. Gill had given a caution statement to police shortly after the incident, but at his trial said nothing in his own defense. Gill has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison for almost six years and will be sentenced on September 22.