BELIZE CITY, Wed. May 17, 2017–When he was arraigned on charges of robbery and harm last July, Elroy Goldburn Hemmans pleaded not guilty. Hemmans, 36, an accountant and resident of Mahogany Heights, changed his not guilty plea to guilty today when the case came up for trial.
He was sentenced to 3 years in prison by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, who ordered Hemmans to apologize to his victim, a 19-year-old bus conductor, Samir Martinez, who had already left the courtroom when the sentence was imposed.
In apologizing to Martinez, Hemmans said he (Martinez) had provoked him. Magistrate Fraser told Hemmans that blaming the victim was not an apology. Hemmans was therefore made to apologize again.
Hemmans asked the court to show him leniency.
Magistrate Fraser, before handing down her sentence to Hemmans, explained to him, “I am deeply concerned about the violence in this case. You went after him because he put you off the bus. This was not the first time; you did it before, so he [Martinez] knows you. If you didn’t pay, you didn’t pay.”
“I can’t let you go home,” Magistrate Fraser said to Hemmans. The Senior Magistrate told Hemmans that by sentencing him to 3 years, the court was showing him leniency.
She told Hemmans that he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison for the robbery alone, and the wounding charge carried up to a 7-year prison sentence.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, July 12, around 3:00 p.m. in the Novelo’s Bus Terminal parking lot.
Martinez reported to police that Hemmans hurled a stone at his head, and when he fell down, Hemmans grabbed his money bag, took out $300 and ran out of the terminal. Martinez and the bus driver chased him.
Hemmans, however, did not get very far. He was intercepted by Strike Team police officers who captured him on Johnson Street, a short distance from the bus terminal.