Headline — 27 October 2015 — by Rowland A. Parks
Jason Reyes, 26, guilty of manslaughter

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 26, 2015–A San Pedro man, Jason Reyes, 26, who was charged with the November 2010 murder of Lionel Pinelo, was cleared of the murder indictment, but was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter when his trial by judge without a jury concluded today in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas.

Justice Lucas has set November 2, 2015, as sentencing day for Reyes, who has been on remand for almost five years.

In the trial, which began on October 5, the court heard evidence from two key prosecution witnesses and after the prosecution closed its case on October 16, Reyes’ attorney, Alifa Elrington-Hyde, made a no case to answer submission.

In her submission, Elrington-Hyde told the court that the prosecution did not have enough circumstantial evidence to determine that it was the accused who had committed the offense of murder.

Justice Lucas, however, in his ruling on the no case to answer submission on October 20, ruled that Reyes had a case to answer.

In his defense, Reyes gave an alibi statement from the prisoner’s dock, telling the court that he was at home when Pinelo was stabbed. Reyes maintained that he was never in front of the Rainbow Bar, located in the Boca Del Rio area of San Pedro, where Pinelo was stabbed once in the left side of the chest.

During the trial, one of the two prosecution eyewitnesses testified that someone had broken a bottle on top of the golf cart that Pinelo was driving.

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