BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 14, 2018– Basketball player Dwayne Davis, 37, who was charged with the murder of Dr. Ivan Garcia, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on May 24 and he was to be sentenced today, Thursday. But after hearing pleas for mitigation on Davis’ behalf, Justice Adolph Lucas deferred the sentencing until Wednesday, June 20.
Davis, in his plea, said he is neither gay nor bisexual, and Dr. Garcia was not his lover. He said he was simply trying to defend himself by fending off the sexual advances of Dr. Garcia. He pleaded with Justice Lucas for leniency and said that any consideration in that regard would be highly appreciated.
His attorney, Bryan Neal, said that Davis has served 5 years, 11 months and 21 days on remand. Neal asked Justice Lucas to subtract the remanded time from Davis’ sentence.
Neal also asked Justice Lucas to take into consideration the fact that Davis has no previous conviction for any violent offence in Belize. He submitted four cases for Justice Lucas to consider when arriving at the sentence, and he asked that the sentence be at the lower end of the range of possible sentences.
One character witness, Lauren Garbutt, a Muslim by faith and Davis’ cousin, testified on Davis’ behalf. He said he has known Davis all of his life, both in Belize and in New York. He said that Davis did not have a father who was a good role model, and that affected him.
He also said that Davis was hardworking and easygoing.
Dr. Garcia, a Guatemalan national who resided at an apartment in Belama Phase 1, was found dead in his bathroom on June 18, 2012, clad only in his boxer shorts. On June 17, 2012, the night before, Davis and Dr. Garcia were at the house of a doctor in Kings Park, then they went to Dr. Garcia’s apartment, where, according to Davis, Dr. Garcia wanted to have sex with him, but he, Davis, could not perform the act, and they then fell asleep.
Davis said that the following day when they awoke, Dr. Garcia resumed his quest to have sex with Davis, but Davis adamantly refused, and he told Dr. Garcia that he wanted to go home.
But Dr. Garcia was not to be deterred, and he became more insistent, and according to Davis, that was when he subdued the doctor with a chokehold.
Davis claimed that when Dr. Garcia revived, however, he resumed his attempt to have sex, and this led to a struggle during which Davis fatally struck him on the head with a can of beets.
The Crown was represented at the sentence hearing by Crown Counsel Portia Ferguson.