Headline — 23 June 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Dwayne Davis, 37, gets 14 years for manslaughter

He pleaded guilty to killing Dr. Ivan Garcia

BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 20, 2018– Dwayne Davis, 37, who was initially charged with the June 17, 2012 murder of Guatemalan medical doctor Ivan Garcia, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, was sentenced to 14 years in prison this afternoon by Supreme Court Justice, Adolph Lucas.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Lucas told the court that he had researched the sentencing range for persons charged with murder, but convicted of manslaughter, and that the general range of prison sentencing is 20 years.

Justice Lucas, in his summary of the evidence presented to the court, accepted (based on what was contained in Davis’ caution statement), that Davis was drinking with Dr. Garcia and others at a house in the Kings Park area. After they had finished drinking, Davis got into Dr. Garcia’s car and they headed to Dr. Garcia’s house, located on Guava Street in the Belama area.

Justice Lucas continued to state that after they arrived, Davis and the doctor continued drinking. At some point during the night, Dr. Garcia began caressing Davis with the intention that Davis would have sex with him.

However, Davis was unable to get an erection, so both men went to sleep.

The next morning, a determined Dr. Garcia again made attempts to arouse Davis, but Davis was not interested. Dr. Garcia then became aggressive, but Davis rebuffed his advances by forcing him off.

In his effort to ward off the doctor’s sexual advances, Davis placed his arms around Dr. Garcia’s neck, holding him in a chokehold, (described as a sleeper hold). Dr. Garcia then fell unconscious and Davis began searching for the keys to get out of the apartment, said the judge.

Dr. Garcia, however, regained consciousness and he and Davis struggled again. This time Davis hit him in the head with a can of beets.

Justice Lucas said, “It is fair to say that the actus reus (the action of the crime) of the convict was obtained under caution.”

Davis’ fingerprints were found in the house, and the DNA of Dr. Garcia (his skin cells) was found under Davis’ fingernails, Justice Lucas noted.

“But despite the scientific evidence, there was no other evidence of what had happened there,” said Justice Lucas.

Justice Lucas added that Davis used excessive force, more than was necessary, under the circumstances.

The judge then turned to address the aggravating factors of the case, saying that Davis drove away in the doctor’s car and that was an act of theft.

“There are also mitigating factors to consider,” Justice Lucas said, “and the first is that Davis has a clean criminal record. And although the statement under caution was challenged at the trial, it provided useful information to the police.”

Justice Lucas also took into consideration Davis’ expressions of remorse to the deceased doctor’s family.

“The mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors,” Justice Lucas said, in handing down the 14-year sentence.

“He did not plead guilty right away, but pleaded guilty 7 days into the murder trial,” Justice Lucas also noted.

Davis, upon the advice of his attorney, Bryan Neal, decided to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Justice Lucas subtracted 6 years (the time that Davis had already spent on remand) from the time that he will serve in prison. And for his guilty of manslaughter plea, Justice Lucas subtracted one year, leaving Davis with 7 years that he has to serve.

Under the present prison system, Davis can be eligible for parole after he has served half of his sentence.

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Deshawn Swasey

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