Headline — 07 June 2017 — by Rowland A. Parks
From life sentence  to 21 years

BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 5, 2017–Osmar Sabido, who was initially convicted in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court of the murder of his common-law wife Christie Carrasco, 21, on appeal had his murder conviction and life in prison sentence set aside and substituted with manslaughter. He was sentenced today in the Court of Appeal to 14 years and 347 days.

In handing down the sentence, President of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Justice Manuel Sosa, told Sabido, 30, that the appropriate sentence in this matter is 21 years, but the court took into consideration the amount of time that he has spent on remand awaiting trial and deducted the time he spent on remand, leaving the 14-years-and-347-day sentence.

Before the three Appeal Court justices retired to their chambers to consider the sentence, they heard submissions from the Crown, represented by senior Crown counsel Sheiniza Smith, and Crown counsel Javier Chan. Attorney Oscar Selgado represented Sabido.

The court heard a mitigation plea from Sabido’s father, who told the Appeal justices that his son was a good man who never got into trouble with the law until this incident.

“He is a good person. He never gave me any trouble from he was small,” the older Sabido said of his son.

Justice Sosa had to interrupt him to ask him what he would like the court to consider in passing sentence on his son.

Sabido abruptly ended his address to the court, saying, “All I have to say, my son is a very good person.”

Osmar Sabido then addressed the court.

“As I stand before this Honorable Court of Appeal, I would like to say my sincere remorse to the family of the deceased. I never meant to do it. But at the end of the day, life goes on, I have to move forward,” he said.

Sabido explained that he has successfully completed 3 programs while he has been incarcerated. “I ask the Honorable Court to have mercy on me. I am a young man and still have a future,” he said.

Sabido stressed that he has made a change in his life and further told the court, “I am a very good man. From I know myself, I never get in trouble with the law.”

On the night of February 28, 2011, violence erupted at the home of Osmar Sabido and Christie Carrasco.

The fight between the couple eventually ended outside in the yard at their home in the San Lazaro Site, in Orange Walk Town.

Once outside, Sabido stabbed Carrasco twice with a knife. She was stabbed once in the chest and once in the abdomen in the presence of their on-looking neighbors, in one of whose arms

Carrasco succumbed to her injuries while being transported to the Northern Regional Hospital.

In a trial by judge without jury, Justice Herbert Lord found Sabido guilty of the murder and sentenced him to life in prison.

At the Court of Appeal, Sabido’s attorneys, Leroy Banner and Oscar Selgado, argued that the trial judge erred when he did not factor in provocation before convicting Sabido of the murder.

At his Supreme Court trial, Sabido told the court that Christie Carrasco had told him that she was in a relationship with another man, for whom she was pregnant. The attorneys argued that that was extreme provocation.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the attorneys and quashed the murder conviction and life in prison sentence, and substituted manslaughter in the place of murder.

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