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Bladen 12’s pre-trial winds down

GeneralBladen 12’s pre-trial winds down

Photo: Richard “Dickie” Bradley, defense attorney

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Apr. 10, 2024

This week, the third witness in the latest session of the Bladen 12 trial’s voir dire (the trial within the trial) took the stand.

Following Monday’s re-examination of the Justice of the Peace who was present during the recording of Moses Aiden Perez’s caution statement, and of Barrington Montero, a Scenes of Crime technician, the voir dire continued on Tuesday, April 9, when witness and GI3 officer from Punta Gorda, Corporal Radro Muschamp took the stand for the first time.

Muschamp is being accused of physical abuse by Perez and Armando Martinez, a duo who were detained by police after being found in a white Toyota Hilux in the proximity of Bladen Village back in 2021 following the landing of a drug plane.

The farmers have claimed that Muschamp physically assaulted them in order to force them to give a caution statement, which Muschamp denied in cross-examination. In fact, while he was on the stand, Muschamp insisted that the statement was freely given, and that Perez confessed voluntarily, even revealing the name of the police officer and men involved.

However, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, the defense attorney conducting the cross-examination, said he was not surprised by Muschamp’s response, since he knew that an officer would never admit to abuse in cases like this.

“The allegation against him by some of the defendants is that he is the one that beat them. He kicked, stomped, he beat them men bad. We just simply cannot, if the allegations are true, can’t proceed this way … because when somebody says something to the police, or they write something incriminating themselves, that is important evidence,” Bradley told reporters.

He further mentioned, “The law in our country is that you cannot use anything obtained from an accused if he was threatened, promised anything, coerced, and worse, if he was beaten and tortured. This officer is accused of doing things he should not have done.”

With approximately one more week left in the lengthy voir dire, the rest of the trial is set to start in the week of May 27, which the Senior Magistrate has indicated as the date when it is hoped they will be finally ending the pre-trial.

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