“Pito” acquitted of murder of Amandala reporter Kareem Clarke, 27
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 13, 2019– Mark Waight, 21, aka “Pito”, charged with the murder of popular Amandala journalist, Kareem Clarke, 27, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice Colin Williams in a trial that was without a jury.
Clarke was shot and killed about 1 a.m. on July 6, 2015, while he was on Lakeview Street. The Crown, represented by Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell, had relied mainly on the testimony of the witness, 54-year-old Orlet Bevans, but Bevans, who had allegedly given a statement to the police in which she said she had witnessed the shooting of Clarke by Waight, turned out to be an uncooperative witness.
Bevans took the witness stand and denied that she had given the police a statement voluntarily. She said that she was in the “crack house” at the time of the incident and that the police had busted her with drugs.
She said the police had promised to give her back her drugs if she cooperated with them and gave them a statement.
In the statement that Bevans allegedly gave, she said she had just gotten out of a police truck in which she had been given a ride and she took her bicycle out of the back of the truck and she rode it down Vernon Street, towards Mopan Street.
Bevans said that when she reached the corner of Vernon Street and Mopan Street, she saw Waight, whom she had known for about 5 years, riding a black bicycle, coming from Mopan Street and heading towards Vernon Street.
She said Waight rode past her and when she reached near Viking Restaurant on Vernon Street, she saw a man almost at the corner of Lakeview Street and Vernon Street, apparently fixing something on his hand.
Bevans said that she heard a loud gunshot and when she looked, she saw Waight shoot the man three times. She said Waight then got on his bicycle and rode away towards Sittee Street.
But the statement allegedly made by Bevans was not admitted into evidence by Justice Williams. Having no other evidence to submit at the trial, Crown Counsel Lovell closed the case for the Crown.
As a result, Waight’s attorney, Kathleen Lewis, submitted that Waight had no case to answer, and Justice Williams upheld the submission and acquitted Waight.
Although Waight was freed of the murder charge, however, he was not free to go because he has a charge of attempted murder for which trial is still pending.
So, whoever murdered Kareem is walking among us as a free man.