General — 18 July 2018 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Jermaine Moody, 30, convicted of manslaughter

BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 16, 2018– Today, after hearing pleas for mitigation, Justice Adolph Lucas set Friday, July 27, as the date for the sentencing of Jermaine Moody, 30, who was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter for the death of Moses Coc, 31, which occurred on September 13, 2014, in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.

Two character witnesses testified on Moody’s behalf. The first was Leny Jo Garnett, 35, a standard 6 teacher at Hummingbird Primary School, and she said that she has known Moody for over 10 years, and during that time, he was very jovial, quiet and compassionate.

Garnett said that Moody was always around her and her two daughters, who treated him as their uncle.

The second character witness, Ian Zelaya, 35, a Belize City businessman, testified that he has known Moody for over 15 years, and that Moody was his neighbor. Zelaya said that Moody is not a troublemaker and is of good.

He also said that Moody was not the kind of person who had in the past appeared in court for any offence prior to the one for which he was convicted.

Moody, in his plea, expressed regret for what he did, and asked Coc’s family to forgive him. He also asked Justice Lucas for leniency.

His attorney, Oswald Twist, also asked the court for leniency and he provided some guidelines for sentencing.

At the trial in which Justice Lucas was both judge and jury, the main witness for the Crown, Francisco Ack, testified that he and Coc were socializing and he advised Coc to go home while he, himself, headed home.

Ack said that when he began to walk, he heard Coc crying out to him for help, and when he turned around, he saw Moody beating Coc with a stick.

Ack said that when he went to assist Coc, Moody struck him with the stick.

Coc was taken to the clinic on the island, where he succumbed to his injury shortly afterwards.

Moody later gave a caution statement in which he said that he was defending himself against two men who wanted to steal his bicycle.

Moody was found guilty on June 20. The Crown was represented by Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell.

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