General — 23 June 2018 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Andrew Willoughby, 35, found guilty of the murder of Daniel Matura

BELIZE CITY, Tues. June 19, 2018– A look of disappointment appeared on the face of Andrew Willoughby, 35, when Madam Justice Marilyn Williams ruled today that he was guilty of the murder of Daniel Matura, 11, who was shot and killed between 8 and 8:30 a.m. on May 21, 2012.

His sentencing date is July 16.

It was a trial without a jury. Matura, a student of St. John Vianney Primary School, was shot while he was running across Central American Boulevard near his home, which is located almost opposite Belizean Drug Store.

Two of the 8 shots that were fired hit Matura.

Willoughby was shooting at Brandon Taylor and Roy Felix, who were riding their bicycles on Central American Boulevard, coming from the direction of Jane Usher Boulevard. Taylor and Felix were not injured.

The Crown, represented by Crown Counsel Rene Montero, called 11 witnesses, 3 of whom were eyewitnesses (Eric Reid, George Ferguson and Sharla Cocom), to prove its case.

Justice Williams, in her ruling, said that she was satisfied that the eyewitnesses, who all said that they have known Willoughby for over 5 years, had positively identified Willoughby as the shooter.

Willoughby had given a caution statement to the police in which he admitted that he shot Matura. But in a voire dire, he said that he was beaten by police, who he said, also made promises to do certain things for him, in order to convince him to give the statement.

But in her ruling, Justice Williams rejected Willoughby’s testimony that he had been beaten and promised certain favors so that he could give the statement.

Willoughby gave a statement from the dock in which he said that at the time of the incident he was at the home of his girlfriend, Catherine Blease. But he did not call Blease as a witness to corroborate his alibi statement.

It is believed that Willoughby fired at Taylor and Felix as an act of revenge for the murder of Kaylon Matura, for which Taylor had been charged, but acquitted.

Willoughby was represented by attorney Leeroy Banner.

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