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Extortion case collapses: one witness refused to testify, and another couldn’t be found

BELIZE CITY–A police special constable who has been on interdiction since last December, when he was charged with two counts of extortion, walked out of the Belize City Magistrate’s Court cleared of the charges today.

On Tuesday, September 9, a police Special Constable, Dayton Sacasa, 42, took the defendant’s seat in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith for the beginning of his extortion case.

Sacasa was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre, and the case for the prosecution was being presented by attorney Danielle Hawke, who heads the Belize Police Department Prosecution Branch.

The allegation against Sacasa, who is originally from Dangriga, is that on December 18, 2013, when he was posted at the Queen Street Police Station cell block, he extorted monies from two detainees.

amandala-logoThe witness told the court, “The court cannot stop me from being kidnapped or killed by corrupted cops.”

According to a report made to police at the time by Ryan Davis, 25, a painter and resident of 18 Antelope Street, he paid Sacasa $50 to secure his release.

The other complainant, Aaron Flowers, 19, a tour guide residing at 3808 Antelope Street Extension, also paid $50.

When the two men learned that they would have been released, and did not have to pay for their freedom, they filed a complaint with the police’s Professional Standards Branch.

The case for the prosecution, however, began to fail from the beginning when the first witness took the witness stand.

In his first words to the court, Flowers, to the astonishment of Hawke, said, “Your Honor, I don’t want to press charges”.

He was interrupted by Hawke, who asked him “to take your mind back to December 17, 2013.”

Flowers avoided answering the prosecutor’s question, and instead said: “Unno can’t save my life out there on the streets.”

Hawke, once more, asked him to take his mind back to the date of the alleged incident.

Flowers, in a harsher, louder voice, declared: “Yes and no, I remember, but I don’t want to press charges.”

His voice got louder: “The court cannot stop me from being kidnapped or killed by corrupted cops.”

After those statements, the Chief Magistrate asked him to leave her court.

Prosecutor Hawke then asked the court for another adjournment so she could locate her second witness.

After three days, however, Davis, the other key prosecution witness, who had reported that he gave $50 to Sacasa in denominations of three $10 and one $20, could not be located.

This effectively doomed the prosecution’s case, since there was no evidence before the court on the two charges against Sacasa.

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