BELMOPAN—In the aftermath of a heated protest some time earlier in San Jose, Succotz, near the Xunantunich archaeological site, in which residents who called for justice for the death of their fellow villager, blocked the roadway with debris and old tires and lit them on fire, Assistant Superintendent Daniel Arzu, the Officer in Charge of Benque Viejo police, escorted Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned for causing the death of Yolanda Valencia, 54, in a fatal traffic accident that occurred while he was under the influence of alcohol early this past Saturday morning.
The angered villagers were waiting to see ACP Segura appear at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, where he was scheduled to be criminally charged.
Segura, however, was instead taken to Belmopan and charged before Magistrate Aretha Ford. Segura was read six charges in connection with the deadly head-on collision that claimed the life of Valencia, while the driver of a taxi that she was in, Yanie Evan Cu, 28, remains hospitalized in a critical but stable condition.
Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold represented Segura as he was levied with 6 separate counts of criminal indictments, namely, manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, negligent grievous harm, driving with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit, and failing to alter direction to give way to the taxi he ran into.
No plea was taken and the prosecutor did not object to bail. Segura was granted bail of $6,000 on the conditions that he must not interfere with the prosecution’s witnesses, including the families of the two accident victims; he must report to the Benque Viejo Police Station every Friday; appear at court on all specified court dates, and not be charged for any other offence while on bail.
The Magistrate stipulated that failure to adhere to the bail conditions would result in his bail being revoked.
Deputy Commissioner Segura is scheduled to reappear in court on October 9, 2014, when the prosecution is expected to provide disclosure to the defense.
Segura’s blood specimen, which was sent for testing, reportedly registered at 205 for alcohol content, which is over the prescribed legal limit (which is what?), confirming that he was inebriated at the time of the accident, while the results for the taxi driver, Yanie Cu, showed that he had no trace of alcohol in his system.
We note that when the disgraced senior officer was taken into the courtroom, several police and Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT) officers heavily guarded the door in an initial attempt to bar reporters from entering the court proceedings, which was just one of several efforts to shield him from the cameras of the media – an exhibition of obvious preferential treatment.
Upon his exit, a decoy was set up at the front of the court while Segura’s bond was being signed, and as the media waited for him to depart in the same police vehicle which brought him to court, he was sneaked by his colleagues through the back exit, which, up until today, was only known to be used by court judges.
Police Commissioner Allen Whylie, along with other Ministry of National Security officials, at a late evening press briefing this past Monday, August 18, declared that ACP Segura has been put on “interdiction/suspension” pending investigations into the deadly accident that cost the life of a mother of five and has since sidelined a father of two.
The disgraced Deputy ComPol was slapped with 6 charges in connection with the death of Yolanda Valencia, 54
Last Saturday, August 16, at about 5:30 a.m., Segura was driving a police-issued Nissan Pathfinder to his home in Benque Viejo when he crashed head-on into a blue taxi that was heading to San Ignacio.
The tragedy occurred at Mile 71 just outside Succotz on the George Price Highway, and Yolanda Valencia, a market vendor who was in the passenger seat of the taxi, died on impact, while the taxi driver, Yanie Evan Cu, suffered multiple injuries and remains hospitalized.
Probably the most damning evidence against Segura is a cellphone video, which went viral on social media this past weekend.
The video captured a seemingly nonchalant Segura, in a white shirt and uniform pants, exiting the Pathfinder after the collision and putting his pistol into his left pocket before calmly pulling out a cigarette, taking a puff, and fixing the front of his pants, which at the time, for some reason, was unbuttoned.
Although a police report said that Segura was alone in the vehicle, persistent eyewitness reports indicate that observers saw a male passenger exit the vehicle.
The incident sparked an intense seven-and-a half-hour protest earlier today on the highway in front of San Jose Succotz, where both accident victims resided, as infuriated villagers blocked the road, burned tires and demanded that justice be served by way of a proper investigation by Segura’s colleagues in the Police Department.
The traffic flow was stabilized and the debris were removed from the street only after the throng of protestors had gotten assurance from police that Segura would be indicted for his actions in a court of law.