General — 26 January 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
Accused murders Maurice and Emory Felix get Supreme Court bail

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Jan. 22, 2019– Two brothers, Emory Felix, 34, and Maurice Felix, 33, who are accused of the May 2015 murder of Mark Gentle, 27, and the attempted murder of Gentle’s mother, Pamela Cumberbatch, were released on Supreme Court bail today after a successful bail application hearing before Justice Antoinette Moore in the Belmopan Supreme Court, where they were represented by attorney Oscar Selgado.

Justice Moore released the brothers on bail of $20,000 each and imposed strict bail conditions to which they must adhere. The court ordered them to attend all court hearings of their case, beginning with their next court appearance before Supreme Court Justice, Marilyn Williams, on April 2. They are not to interfere with any witnesses in the case and they are to report to the Raccoon Street Police Station.

In addition, the court also imposed a curfew on the brothers.

On the night of May 25, 2015, Gentle and his mother, Pamela Cumberbatch, along with his stepfather, Calvin Cumberbatch, were sitting on the front steps of their home on Caesar Ridge Road when a vehicle pulled up and two men discharged a barrage of gunfire before speeding off into the night.

Cumberbatch was treated and released for her injuries, but Mark Gentle (also known as Mark Vernon) died a week later, on June 8, 2015.

In April 2016, Maurice and Emory Felix were committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court. At the preliminary inquiry, 2 counts of dangerous harm and 1 count of use of deadly means of harm against Calvin Cumberbatch were dropped because Cumberbatch did not give police a statement after he was released from the hospital.

Cumberbatch indicated that he did not want to pursue the matter in court.

The Felix brothers are no strangers to the criminal justice system. They were accused of the April 10, 2006 murder of Mitchum Heredia, 29. Heredia was shot multiple times and killed at his residence on T-Street, in the Port Loyola area.

Maurice and Emory Felix were arrested and charged for Heredia’s murder.

Initially, when the brothers were tried in October 2007, a jury found them guilty, but when the case went to the Court of Appeal, the Appeal justices ruled that there was misdirection on the part of the trial judge at the Supreme Court, and as a consequence, the court ordered a new trial.

At the second jury trial, four years later, there was a hung jury, and so they were remanded until a third trial could be held.

The third trial got under way in May 2014, and the prosecution moved the venue from the Belize Judicial District, where the offence had occurred, to the Northern Session of the Supreme Court.

That third trial, however, also ended in a hung jury. Because it would have been perceived as an abuse of the judicial process, the Crown threw in the towel and so the Felix brothers were released from prison, freed from the murder charge.

The present indictment for the murder of Mark Gentle, aka Mark Vernon, and attempted murder of Gentle’s mother, Pamela Cumberbatch, will have to proceed without Cumberbatch, who died in a massive traffic accident in January 2016.

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Deshawn Swasey

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