BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 2, 2020– Roger Alexander Ventura Chamel, a sales agent for an insurance company, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a firearm when he appeared on Tuesday, December 30, 2019, before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford. He was fined $500 and was given until February 28 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 5 months. Before she decided on the sentence Senior Magistrate Ford heard a plea for mitigation from Chamel’s attorney, Hurl Hamilton, and Chamel himself. Hamilton said that it was Chamel’s first offence and he had saved the court time by pleading guilty at the first opportunity. Chamel said that he was sorry for what he did and he asked for leniency.
The incident occurred on December 20. The complainant, Maurice Kelly, 55, a purchasing manager, reported to the police that he parked his truck in front of Peppers Pizza, located on St. Thomas Street, and he went inside the pizza shop to purchase food. He said that when he came out of the shop he was confronted by Chamel who accused him of crashing into his car. He said an argument ensued between him and Chamel and Chamel pulled out an object that resembled a firearm and pointed it at him. He said Chamel told him, “You know I can kill you right now”. Kelly said that fearing for his life, he got into his truck and he sped away.
Initially, Chamel had pleaded not guilty to the charge and Hamilton sought to get bail for him on the grounds that the facts of the case disclosed that the object that Chamel pointed at Kelly was a pellet gun and it was not considered a firearm under the Firearms Act which precludes Magistrates from granting bail. Chamel changed his plea from not guilty to guilty when Senior Magistrate Ford told him that she was denying him bail in the first instance.
Feature photo: Roger Chamel