Headline — 17 July 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
Attorney Oscar Selgado, 49, arraigned

He was charged with abetment to commit murder

BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 15, 2019– The defendant’s box is an unusual place for a practicing attorney at the criminal bar to be, but that is just where the attorney Oscar Selgado found himself late this afternoon when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts-Anderson.

Police charged Selgado with the offense of abetment to commit murder.

Selgado, 49, was represented by attorney Herbert Panton, while the Crown was represented by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Cheryl-Lynn Vidal.

Abetment to commit murder is an indictable offence, and if a preliminary inquiry finds that there is prima facie evidence against Selgado, his matter will be committed to the Supreme Court for trial.

DPP Vidal objected to the court granting Selgado bail, but Panton was able to convince Magistrate Pitts-Anderson to grant him bail.

Bail was granted to Selgado in the sum of $10,000. Due to the late arraignment, the court’s office staff had already left for the day, so Selgado will have to remain in police custody overnight until he can access his bail tomorrow.

Following the arraignment, Panton spoke briefly to reporters, saying that Selgado’s bail condition is that he should report to the Fabers Road Police Station twice per week every Monday and Friday between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. In addition, Selgado is to stay away from the virtual complainant and is not to leave the court’s jurisdiction without the permission of the court.

We asked Panton who made the report that led to the charge against Selgado.

It must be noted that this is still a live matter, and things started to unfold this evening around 4:00 p.m., Panton said.

Court papers indicate that Selgado allegedly asked one Giovanni Ramirez to kill Marilyn Barnes.

Barnes had reported Selgado to the General Legal Council, the body which hears complaints against attorneys.

Ramirez had approached Selgado because he wanted Selgado to represent him in a firearms case. Selgado agreed to represent Ramirez, but asked him to do him (Selgado) a favor. Selgado allegedly told Ramirez about Barnes and how she had reported him to the General Legal Council, and that he could be disbarred from practicing law, Ramirez told police.

Ramirez alleged to police that Selgado gave him $500 at first to buy a gun. This initial payment was followed by another $500 payment and on that occasion, Selgado took Ramirez and showed him where Barnes lived, after which he paid Ramirez another $800.

Ramirez then reported the matter to the police.

The incident allegedly occurred on February 7, 2019.

In May, the Gang Suppression Unit police raided Selgado’s Rio Bravo Crescent home. The raid allegedly yielded two live rounds that were found in Selgado’s SUV. Selgado was not charged for the ammunition, but further police investigation led to his arrest for the abetment to murder charge.

Oscar Selgado has become the third attorney in recent times to face criminal charges. Attorney Andrew Bennett is battling a United States extradition request due to money laundering allegations, and attorney Norman Rodriguez still has a rape indictment pending in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court.

Selgado is to return to court on September 17.

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Deshawn Swasey

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