33-year-old, Ramiro de la Rosa is about to be a free man. He pled guilty to a firearm offense earlier this month after a police search at his Duck Run 2 residence result in the discovery of his deceased father’s licensed shotgun. Because he does not personally have a license for the firearm, he was arrested and charged. He pleaded guilty to the charge so his wife could be released. The magistrate gave him a 3-year sentence and that caused an uproar in his community because De la Rosa is described as a humble, family man. After his story aired on the news, the online public grew outraged, asking that a legal intervention be done. That intervention came in the person of attorney, Orson “OJ” Elrington who took on the case pro-bono. This morning, Elrington successfully convinced the Chief Magistrate that De la Rosa’s sentencing be stayed until the matter is heard in the Supreme Court of Belize.
Orson “OJ” Elrington, Attorney: “Well as you know a few weeks ago Mr. De La Rosa was sentenced to three years imprisonment. That obviously was met with a significant please by the country and members of his community and other members throughout the country and internationally in fact. Today we were successful in applying for a stay of that execution and so Mr.De La Rosa once he meets the conditions of the bond set out by the learned Magistrate then he would be released from prison.”
Reporter: What are the arguments that you put forward to the court ?
Orson “OJ” Elrington, Attorney: “What we had to prove to the court for them to grant us a stay of execution was that it was in the interest of justice and that there was a probable chance of success of appealing the matter. We laid forth two grounds of appeal one was that the learned Magistrate had erred in law when she took his words to mean that he was guilty, secondly that the sentence itself was manifestly unjust and therefore should be reviewed. The learned Magistrate said she did not agree with us on the first ground but she accepted and was willing to allow an appeal on the second ground and so she granted us a stay of execution of that judgement.”
De La Rosa was granted bail of eight thousand dollars plus a surety. The matter now moves to the Supreme Court for the appeal. Up to news time he was at the hospital under police guard.