Headline — 13 July 2019 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
25 years for 25 cents

Erlin White, 47, was convicted of murder for 25 cents

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 11, 2019– Yesterday at the resentencing of Earlin White, 47, who was convicted of the murder of Dwayne Arnold, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin reaffirmed White’s sentence of life imprisonment and stipulated that he would be eligible for parole after he has served 25 years in prison.

White’s sentence took effect from February 14, 2002, when he was remanded.

Arnold was shot and killed on February 11, 2002, at his workplace, Electrical Zone Rebuilding, that was located at 88 Cemetery Road. According to the evidence that was presented at the trial, Franz Hamilton, an employee of Electrical Zone Rebuilding, was in Arnold’s car, which was parked in the yard, when White approached him with a gun in his hand and demanded twenty-five cents from him.

Hamilton testified that he told White he did not have any money and White held him at gunpoint and marched him up to Arnold’s office.

White met Arnold coming out of his office and from behind the sales counter, Arnold asked White what he wanted. White demanded twenty-five cents from Arnold.

White then fired 3 shots at Arnold. One bullet struck Arnold in the head and another bullet struck him in his right arm.

On October 20, 2003, White was convicted of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment by Justice John Gonzalez.

Before he decided on White’s sentence, Chief Justice Benjamin considered the aggravating factors that were submitted by Crown Counsel Portia Ferguson, and the mitigating factors that were submitted by White’s attorney, Leslie Mendez.

One of the aggravating factors was that prior to being charged with murder, White had served a sentence of 4 years for a manslaughter conviction and he also had a conviction for use of deadly means of harm.

Crown Counsel Ferguson pointed out that in all those incidents, White had used a firearm. She said that in the case of Arnold, White was unprovoked.

Mendez said that White had a troubled childhood while he was living in the United States, and that he was exposed to gang activity from an early age. She said that since he has been in prison, White has participated in several rehabilitation programs.

White, in a long letter to Chief Justice Benjamin, expressed his remorse for killing Arnold.

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Deshawn Swasey

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