Headline — 24 June 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Missing key murder witness = nolle prosequi

A Belize City man who has been accused of the January 2009 shooting death of Barney Cunningham, 20, was freed of the murder charge and three counts of attempted murder when the prosecution indicated to the court that its key witness for the trial could not be located.

This morning, when Supreme Court Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez told Marlon Foreman, 27, that he was free to go, Foreman literally ran out of the courtroom.

With the paperwork indicating the prosecution’s intention of entering a nolle prosequi in the case having been completed last week, Foreman, who had been on remand since 2009, could have regained his freedom last Friday, but his freedom was delayed until after the weekend.

Foreman was charged with Cunningham’s murder on January 9, 2009. In addition, he was charged with the attempted murder of Edmund Castillo, who was grazed under his chin by a bullet; Enrique Alvarez, who was shot in the right foot; and Glenford Myers, who was shot in the leg.

The shooting incident occurred on Curl Thompson Street on the night of January 3, 2009.

Cunningham had gone to Edmund Castillo’s house to assist him with moving when a lone gunman appeared and fired 15 rounds at the group. Cunningham was hit four times, with one of the bullets wounding him in the left side of his head, and after being hospitalized at the Belize Medical Associates for four days, he succumbed to his injuries.

Foreman’s attorney, Bryan Neal, told Amandala that there was never any evidence against his client.

“And looking at the deposition, there were conflicting statements in it,” Neal added. “The Crown could never have secured a guilty verdict. The nolle prosequi was discussed on Friday and he is home free now,” said Neal.

Foreman was before the court only for the murder, because the DPP is no longer pursuing the attempted murder charges in connection with the injuries of the other three men who had allegedly been shot by Foreman.

One year and three months after he was grazed in the shooting incident that claimed the life of Barney Cunningham, Edmund Castillo was shot and killed on April 23, 2010, leaving Alvarez and Myers, who, according to the Crown, never saw who the shooter was. Therefore, their testimony would not help the Crown’s murder case against Foreman.

The murder charge against Foreman, however, could be brought back, if the Crown’s key witness is located and is willing to testify in court.

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