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Keyren Tzib sentenced to 4 years 10 months for attempted murder

GeneralKeyren Tzib sentenced to 4 years 10 months for attempted murder

by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)

BELIZE CITY, Tues. June 18, 2024

Former Belize Coast Guard officer, Keyren Tzib, 34, who was convicted of attempted murder, was sentenced to 4 years and 10 months in prison today by Justice Candace Nanton. The sentence is to take effect from today’s date.

In arriving at the sentence, Justice Nanton put the starting point at 7 years. She made a downward adjustment of 2 years for the mitigating factors, and that led to a sentence of 5 years. Then she subtracted 2 months, the time Tzib spent at the pretrial and on remand, which resulted in a final sentence at 4 years and 10 months.

She further ordered that Tzib be put in a facility at the Belize Central Prison suitable for prisoners with mental challenges.

The incident occurred in broad daylight on April 6, 2015. The case did not go to trial until January 17, 2024, about 9 years later.

Kurt Hyde, the captain of a Belize Coast Guard vessel, was returning to the base at Mile 4 on the George Price Highway, and was about 100 yards from the shore when Tzib, armed with a M-4 carbine rifle, fired a shot from where she stood on the boat behind Hyde. As she fired the shot she said, “f*@# you”, and Hyde fell to the floor of the vessel and lost consciousness. Fortunately for Hyde, the bullet narrowly missed any vital organ, and it exited through Hyde’s left cheek.

The doctor who examined and treated Hyde said that Hyde would not have survived without medical intervention.

As a result of his injury, Hyde suffered visual and speech impairment.

Justice Nanton said the harm was of the worst kind, and that it was a brazen attack in broad daylight.

She also said that the gravity of the punishment must be commensurate with the gravity of the offence, and the range of sentencing for attempted murder is 8 to 15 years.

But she took into consideration the unreasonable delay of the trial, and the fact that Tzib is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She further stated that the trial should have been held within 2 or 3 years, but that the fact that it was held about 9 years later does not mean that Tzib did not get a fair trial.

She cited Tzib’s breach of bail conditions as an aggravating factor, and also the fact that she did not express any remorse.

Dr. Novelo, who is the medical practitioner at the Belize Central Prison, stated in his report that the prison does not have the facility to house and treat prisoners with mental disabilities.

Before she decided on the sentence, Justice Nanton heard submissions from Tzib’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar, and Crown Counsel, Glenfield Dennison. She also read a social inquiry report, a victim impact assessment statement, and Tzib’s antecedent history, which showed that she had no previous conviction.

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