DANGRIGA TOWN, Stann Creek District, Fri. Dec. 11, 2015–Jose Montes, 42, of Bladden, Stann Creek District, who was on trial at the Southern Session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga for the murder of Marlon Martinez, 21, of Bella Vista, was found guilty today of the crime and was handed down a sentence of life imprisonment by Justice Denis Hanomansingh.
Martinez was stabbed to death in Bella Vista in July, 2013.
Montes, was taken back to his cell at the Belize Central Prison to begin his life sentence.
On July, 12, 2013, Amandala reported that Marlon Anthony Martinez, 21, of Bella Vista, was stabbed in his heart during an altercation at about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, July, 7, 2013, while walking home after a party in Bella Vista.
According to police, Martinez was walking home with two friends, when a car approached and drove close to them. Martinez reportedly slammed his hand on top of the car and told the driver to be careful.
The witnesses told police that the car then stopped and a man, armed with a knife, jumped out and stabbed Martinez in the chest. Martinez then fell to the ground.
One of Martinez’s two friends punched the attacker on the jaw with his right hand, and the attacker fell to the ground, unconscious.
People in the area who saw what happened were about to mob the unconscious attacker, but police who were also in the area intervened by firing in the air to disperse the angry crowd.
The witnesses said that Martinez was taken to the Independence Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.
Police immediately arrested the attacker, who was still unconscious on the ground. The witnesses positively, identified him as Jose Montes, the man who had stabbed Martinez.
Montes was charged for murder and formally arraigned in the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, July 9, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his trial.
In the Supreme Court trial, Justice Hanomansingh heard the case without a jury, and he did not believe Montes’ claim that Martinez was killed in self-defense.