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Former stevedore sentenced to life for murder

GeneralFormer stevedore sentenced to life for murder

by Roy Davis (freelance writer)

BELIZE CITY, Mon. May 6, 2024

Rodman Welch, 37, a former stevedore who was convicted of murder, was sentenced to life imprisonment today by Justice Nigel Pilgrim. The sentence was given with the stipulation that Welch is to serve a term of 29 years in prison before he would be eligible for parole. The sentence is to commence from October 16, 2020, when Welch was remanded into custody.

Before he decided on the sentence, Justice Pilgrim took into consideration the aggravating and mitigating factors. He said that the murder occurred in broad daylight at a public place, and it was committed with a firearm. He also said that there was a great degree of premeditation and Welch, who was 34 at the time, should have exercised some restraint.

He put the starting point for the sentence at 29 years, then he added 2 years because of the aggravating factors, and he subtracted 2 years because of the mitigating factors, which resulted in a sentence of 29 years. The sentence is to commence from October 16, 2020, when Welch was remanded into custody.

Welch was convicted of the murder of Shameem Dennison on January 25, 2024, in a trial that was without a jury.

Dennison was shot shortly after 4:00 p.m. on October 12, 2020, while he was on the Yarborough basketball court. His friend, Jervis Usher, with whom he was playing basketball, testified that the ball went out of bounds, and when he went to get the ball he saw Welch pull out a gun and fire 3 shots at Dennison.

Dennison was pronounced dead on arrival at 5:14 p.m. at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Welch gave the police a caution statement in which he stated that Dennison had shot him in 2012 when he was working as a security guard. He said he just did to Dennison what Dennison had done to him, and that it was a case of self-defense.

A voire dire was held to determine the admissibility of the statement, and at the end of it the statement was admitted as evidence.

Welch was represented by attorney Orson “OJ” Elrington, while the Crown was represented by Crown Counsel Riis Cattouse.

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