BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 4, 2019– Gareth Hemmans, Jr., 28, who was convicted of attempted murder and was sentenced to 8 years in prison, went home a free man on Friday, February 1, when the Belize Court of Appeal, in a judgment it handed down, quashed his conviction, set aside his sentence and acquitted him.
In his appeal that was heard in June last year, his attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, had appealed on the ground that the trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas, had not considered all of the aspects of the evidence in deciding whether the appellant was guilty or innocent.
The judges of the Belize Court of Appeal agreed and ordered the acquittal.
Hemmans was charged with attempted murder following a chopping incident that had occurred on May 1, 2012. According to the allegation against him, Hemmans and another man, Miguel Zaiden, 42, were socializing in a yard on Madam Liz Avenue when an altercation ensued between them over a woman.
Hemmans left and returned with a machete, which he allegedly used to chop Zaiden several times on his hands and elbows.
In 2016, at the trial, which was without a jury, Hemmans was found guilty despite the fact that Zaiden was deemed a hostile witness because he did not identify Hemmans as the person who chopped him.
Crown Counsel Javier Chan represented the respondent at the Belize Court of Appeal.