The judge arrived at that sentence after considering a number of factors
BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 30, 2018– After he had heard pleas for mitigation and given an assessment of the aggravating factors, Justice Colin Williams made some deductions which resulted in the prison sentence of Lincoln Gomez, 23, who was charged with murder but had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, being reduced from 15 years to 6 months, effective from today’s date.
Gomez’s attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, in his mitigation plea, said that Gomez was 15 years old when he committed the offence, and that he accepted an offer from the Crown to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and saved the court from what might have been a lengthy trial, because there were 10 to 11 witnesses.
Bradley also said that Gomez has expressed remorse for what he described as a stupid thing to have done, and that he has vowed never to make that same mistake again. He said that Gomez has been in prison for 8 years and 6 months, and that he went to prison as a boy, and now, he is a man.
He said that keeping Gomez in prison could not further change him. Gomez and his father, Lionel Gomez, also made pleas for mitigation on his behalf. Crown Counsel Killeru Awich, who represented the Crown, conceded that Gomez had no previous conviction and that he has been in custody since February 2, 2010, and that he was a minor at the time of the incident.
Awich also said that Gomez volunteered to appear in an identification parade on the same day of the incident and that he lacked formal education. He admitted that one of the aggravating factors was that Gomez had left the scene and returned, but said that he believes that the sentence should not be at the extreme end of the 15-to-25 years range, but should be somewhere in the mid-range.
In deciding on the sentence, Justice Williams said that he had to take into consideration the fact that Gomez pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the first opportunity and that he is entitled to certain benefits. He said that the starting point of the sentencing range for manslaughter is 15 years, and because Gomez pleaded guilty, a third of that sentence would be deducted, which resulted in a sentence of 10 years.
Justice Williams also said that he had to take into consideration the time Gomez has spent as a prisoner on remand, which is 8 years and 6 months, and that time must be deducted from the sentence of 10 years, which would leave 1 year and 6 months.
He also said that he could not ignore the fact that the offence was committed with a firearm and that Gomez had left the scene and returned, and that it was a shot to the head. Nevertheless, he made a further deduction of 1 year because Gomez was a minor at the time of the incident, which resulted in a remaining prison sentence of 6 months.
Gomez’s conviction was for the death of Glenstine Martinez, a tour guide who was shot in the back of the head around 6 a.m. on February 2, 2010. Martinez was washing his van in front of his house on Central American Boulevard when Gomez rode up on a bicycle and an argument ensued between them.
Gomez then left and returned with a firearm and shot Martinez.