General — 21 March 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Everal Martinez, 21, arraigned on murder charge for 17-month-old Alyssa Nunez

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Mar. 16, 2018– It was a crime that sent shockwaves across the country, especially in Belize City, where protesters gathered in front of the court buildings amidst unprecedented police security when the alleged perpetrator was first brought to court and arraigned on four sexual assault-related charges.

This morning, however, there was no crowd chanting “Justice for Baby Alyssa,” and no police barriers, as a police vehicle quickly whisked Everal Martinez, 21, into the court building and he appeared before the Senior Magistrate, Aretha Ford, who read new charges to him.

On March 5, when he was charged with the four sexually-related offences against his 17-month-old step-daughter, Alyssa Nunez, bail was denied to Martinez because the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, had indicated to the court that more serious charges would follow.

 Magistrate Ford arraigned Martinez this morning on charges of murder, rape of a child below the age of 16 years, and assault of a child below the age of 16 years by penetration. All the offences are indictable, particularly murder, for which Martinez cannot get bail.

Following the arraignment, Martinez was transported back to the Belize Central Prison, where he joins the more than 250 accused murderers awaiting a Supreme Court trial date.

On March 4, the news of the death of the toddler, who came to be known as Baby Alyssa, surfaced on social media, where there was massive outrage that led to at least two protests in Belize City.

Baby Alyssa had died from “massive brain hemorrhage, due to head trau

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