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Baptist VO.00_00_31_02.Still001

Valentine Baptist, Guilty of Murder

Valentine Baptist sat in the dock as Justice Colin Williams read his almost thirty-minute decision finding Baptist guilty of the murder of 19-year-old Devin Parham. In arriving at his decision, Justice Williams said that he was not persuaded by the accused statement from the dock claiming that someone whom he knew only by face handed him a firearm

Valentine Baptist sat in the dock as Justice Colin Williams read his almost thirty-minute decision finding Baptist guilty of the murder of 19-year-old Devin Parham. In arriving at his decision, Justice Williams said that he was not persuaded by the accused statement from the dock claiming that someone whom he knew only by face handed him a firearm. Shortly after he realized that he was being pursued by a police mobile and fled since he had an unlicensed firearm. Justice Williams stated that Baptist’s version of what took place, quote, “flies in the face of common sense” and is unbelievable. Justice Williams said that he is persuaded by the evidence that the prosecution presented. Officer Martinez had testified that he was returning to the Raccoon Street Police Station along with officer Navarette when he heard shots coming from the direction of Cemetery Road. They responded to the incident and came across a male person riding a bicycle on Buckotura Street.  He pursued the male person who abandoned his bicycle on George Street and ran into a yard. Navarette then exited the police mobile and gave chase on foot. Martinez continued to drive the mobile and finally caught up to the accused at the corner of West Canal and Dean Street. He saw the person throw a handgun over a fence. Furthermore, Martinez was able to apprehend the male person with the assistance of other police officers, who were on duty in the area. Additionally, Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell had read two statements into evidence including the statement of Parham’s cousin, who was the last person to see Parham alive. In his statement, Parham’s cousin recalled that on July 6, 2016, they were on their way home when they saw a male person by Mortar’s Alley and Cemetery Road in Belize City. Upon seeing the man reaching for an object in his pants, he realized that it was a gun and began to run for his life. But Devin could not escape the bullets and was shot multiple times to the upper body. Justice Williams has deferred his sentence to February 13, 2020.