BELIZE CITY, Mon. Nov. 5, 2018– In a written judgement it handed down on Friday, November 2, the Belize Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Rosalia Castillo, 49, aka “Lily”, who was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Castillo’s conviction and sentence were for the death of her lover, Carla “Pam” Perez, 36, a mother of two, who was killed around 9:30 p.m. on December 8, 2012, in Santa Elena Town in the Cayo District.
The evidence was circumstantial and at the trial, which began on November 25, 2014, the Crown relied on the testimony of two witnesses, Rodolfo Melgara Renderos and Marvin Enriquez Tut Cucul. Renderos said that Castillo and Perez had a physical altercation inside Castillo’s bar, Palomas Del Norte, and Castillo “touched” Perez on her head and Perez fell face- down to the ground and he saw a red liquid that looked like blood coming from her body.
Cucul, who was the bartender at the bar, said that he was about 10 to 15 feet away when the incident occurred.
Castillo gave a statement from the dock in which she denied that it was she who caused Perez’s death.
On December 22, 2014, Justice Antoinette Moore, in a trial that was without a jury, found Castillo not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
On January 14, 2015, she sentenced Castillo to 12 years in prison.
On April 4, 2016, the Belize Court of Appeal heard Castillo’s appeal, which was submitted on three grounds. The first ground was that the trial judge erred in failing to give herself a “Lucas direction” in respect to a portion of the appellant’s unsworn statement.
The second ground was that the trial judge failed to direct herself on the defense that the death was an accident and the third ground was that the trial judge failed to consider the alternative verdict of manslaughter by negligence in light of the evidence.
Castillo was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre, while the Crown was represented by Crown Counsel Sheringe Rodriguez..