General — 17 August 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
Ibrahim Smith found guilty of the murder of William Francis

Smith will be sentenced on September 30

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 15, 2019– On Thursday, August 8, in a trial by a judge sitting without jury, Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Williams found Ibrahim Smith, 27, guilty of the November 2012 murder of William Francis, 22.

Justice Williams will sentence Smith on September 30. Under the new regime of sentencing for murder conviction, the automatic life in prison sentence is no longer applicable; judges must sentence a convicted murderer to a fixed number of years in prison.

On Sunday, November 25, 2012, William Francis was at his home on Mahogany Street Extension. He and his older brother were having a conversation when a gunman accosted the two brothers.

The gunman entered the house and asked them for someone else, then he unleashed a barrage of gunshots. The older brother managed to escape unhurt, but William Francis was not so fortunate. He was hit in the left arm, left side of the chest, left side of the neck, the back of the neck and the right eye. Francis died in the living room of his house.

The prosecution’s evidence was led by Senior Crown Counsel, Sheiniza Smith, who called 10 witnesses to testify on behalf of the prosecution.

Felix Delroy Francis, the older brother of William Francis, who was with him when he was killed, was the main prosecution witness. He testified that when the gunman entered the house, he asked his brother for a man named Malic, and then he opened fire on William.

Smith was defended by attorney Leroy Banner.

Last April, Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter by negligence for causing the death of a high school girl, Shenaele Reyes, 17, in 2010.

Smith went to Reyes’ house and while at her house, he toyed with a sawed-off shotgun in front of her. The gun went off and Reyes took the full blast in the chest. Smith was initially charged with manslaughter, but ended up pleading guilty to manslaughter by negligence.

Justice Colin Williams sentenced him to nine months in prison. The sentence amounted to the time that Smith had already spent on remand.

At the time he was sentenced last year, Smith was not free to go home after the court sentenced him, because he had been serving a seven-year sentence for keeping a prohibited firearm and handling stolen goods.

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