by Charles Gladden
BELMOPAN, Tues. July 26, 2022 Belmopan resident, Julian “Dus Up” Henry, 26, was charged with a single count of manslaughter by negligence when he was arraigned in the Magistrate Court in Belmopan on Tuesday, July 26, after accidentally killing 21-year-old Daniel Orellano on Friday, July 22 with his licensed 16-gauge shotgun—a firearm he reportedly used for hunting. Henry’s lawyer, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, has told local reporters that Henry had not been cleaning the weapon when it accidentally discharged, as police reported, but that he was having some difficulties with it to due to an apparent malfunction of the gun, and that he stumbled while holding it and it
The incident reportedly took place at
his home on Mariposa Street in the Las Flores area of Belmopan a little after 6:50
p.m. on Friday, July 22, and the pellets that were fired reportedly traveled through a closed window and hit Orellano (reportedly a friend of his), who was standing outside the window, in the face and neck, killing him instantly.
“His back was turned to the window, where [he] was preparing the firearm to go and hunt. They all confirmed that that is what they normally do—they go and hunt. This is a shotgun. If you know anything about firearms, this is not these younger generations who are fooling around with guns. His back was turned, according to the witness, and he had the long shotgun in his hand and he turned around, and by stumbling, his hand hit the trigger and the gun went off,” Bradley said.
“… Police reports and the facts of a matter are always never correct. I would advise you to stay clear from police reports,” he went on to tell reporters.
When Henry was arraigned in the
Belmopan court, he was denied bail. However, Bradley said that bail is in many cases offered to those accused of manslaughter by negligence—the offense for which Henry has been charged—and he indicated that although Henry was sent to the Belize Central Prison, he will apply for bail at the Supreme Court.
“The Magistrate of the Belmopan court is of a different view and feels like she is not in the position of the authority to grant bail, so she has denied him his freedom. In fact, curiously enough, Julian was detained in police custody from Friday evening, which would mean that he had to sleep in less than satisfactory conditions on Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night, and Monday night. The Constitution says that you must bring somebody to court no later than 48 hours, and he was brought today, and he will be sleeping in another unpleasant and unsatisfactory situation until he makes an application to the Supreme Court to uphold his right to bail and to his freedom,” Bradley said.
Bradley made reference to the fact that Jasmine Hartin, another client of his, who has been charged with manslaughter for the purportedly accidental death of Police Superintendent Henry Jemmott in May 2021, is currently out on bail, despite being a Canadian citizen, and he asserted, in regard to the charges against Henry, “This falls under a bailable matter that he should have been granted bail; that is our respectful opinion on the matter.”
However, when questioned by local reporters on Wednesday, July 27, about the denial of bail to Henry, the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, remarked, “I don’t think the Magistrate would be wrong. It’s an incident that occurred with the use of a firearm, and under Section 16 of The Crime Control Criminal Justice Act, it clearly states that persons who are charged with an offense committed with a firearm shall not be granted bail by the Magistrate.
So then, the appropriate thing for Mr. Bradley to do is to go to the Supreme Court and apply for bail. The Magistrate is guided automatically by Section 16 of The Crime Control Criminal Justice Act.”