Latest — 30 March 2018 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Jury acquits Hilberto Perez, 50, of manslaughter

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Mar. 27, 2018– Hilberto Perez, 50, a businessman of Perez Road, Ladyville, was found not guilty of a charge of manslaughter today in the court of Madam Justice Marilyn Williams. The jury of 9 women deliberated for almost 4 hours before arriving at a unanimous verdict.

The charge against Perez was for shooting Daniel Trapp in the left side of his chest with a pellet gun. The incident occurred around 1:15 p.m. on May 9, 2015 at Perez’s residence. Trapp, according to the evidence that was presented at the trial, went to Perez’s yard and climbed up his mango tree to steal mangoes.

Perez shouted at him and told him to leave, or he would call the police. Perez then went inside his house to get his cellular phone, but he was unable to make the call because he did not have any phone credit.

Perez then got his pellet gun that he had bought at a price of $95 and fired 4 shots. One of the pellets struck Trapp in his chest. Trapp died later the same day while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Perez’s neighbor, Stephanie Ferguson, was the main witness for the Crown. She testified that Perez was by his garage when Trapp entered the yard. She said she did not see Perez shoot Trapp. She said Trapp came down from the tree and told her that Perez shot him.

Perez gave a statement from the dock in which he said that when Trapp went into his yard, he shouted at Trapp and told him to leave, but Trapp refused to do so. He said that after he was unable to call the police, he got his pellet gun and fired a warning shot.

Perez was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley, while the Crown was represented by Crown Counsel Rene Montero.

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