BELIZE CITY, Tues. Oct. 6, 2020– On October 6, 2020, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) finalized and handed down a decision via teleconference in regard to the appeal of convicted killer Hernan Manzanero. The decision reaffirmed Manzanero’s conviction for the 2011 murder of cab operator Domiciano Quixchan.
The forty-five-year-old taxi driver was found stabbed to death off a feeder road in San Antonio Village, Cayo.
In his initial statement to investigators, Manzanero said that Quixchan was driving along the Bullet Tree Road as he transported him and his common-law wife, and his three-week-old baby to a village in the Cayo District.
Before his story fell apart, Manzanero also told investigators that two unmasked men boarded the taxi, and demanded money, and later killed the cab operator outside the vehicle.
Investigators later found that Manzanero had fabricated the story to cover his tracks. It was uncovered that Manzanero believed that his common-law wife was “two-timing” him and was in a romantic relationship with Quixchan.
According to investigators, while seated in the back seat of the vehicle, Manzanero took out a knife and slit the victim’s throat in front of his common-law-wife and baby.
The attack continued outside the vehicle, where Manzanero, in a fit of rage, stabbed Quixchan to death.
In November of 2019, Manzanero, who was represented by attorney Leeroy Banner, appealed his murder conviction and 25-year sentence, but the Justices at the Court of Appeal dismissed Manzanero’s appeal, reaffirming his conviction and sentencing.
In a media release from the CCJ dated 6 October, 2020, it states in part, “A concurring judgment was delivered by the Honourable Mr. Justice Jamadar. He reasoned that in cases where there is a fear of prejudgment, the test to decide if the judge should be disqualified is whether or not there is a real likelihood that the parties or the public would fear that the judge would not be able to decide the case fairly, in the context of the alleged prejudgment and in the particular circumstances of the case.
“The application of the test in this instance did not reveal any fear of prejudgment. Manzanero’s appeal was therefore dismissed and the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Belize confirming his conviction was upheld”.
The Court was presided over by the Honourable Justice Saunders, Justice Wit, Justice Rajnauth-Lee, Justice Burgess, and Justice Jamadar.