BELIZE CITY, Tues. Oct. 15, 2019– Convicted murderers, Leslie Pipersburgh and Patrick Robateau, were back in court this past Friday for a resentencing. The two appeared before Supreme Court Justice Colin Williams.
Since the 2016 appeal of Alwin Gabb and Gregory August, when the Belize Court of Appeal found that it was “inhumane” to sentence a convicted murderer to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the courts have been going through an exercise of re-sentencing all convicted murderers who were given a life sentence.
Justice Williams sentenced Robateau and Pipersburgh to 35 years imprisonment each. The court stipulated that the time Pipersburgh and Robateau spent in prison is to be deducted from the new fixed-date sentence. The sentence is to take effect from April 2011. The two will now have to spend 25 more years in prison, before they will become eligible for parole.
Initially, when Pipersburgh and Robateau were convicted, they were convicted for the murder of four persons and were given the death sentence. The two were found guilty of the murder of two Bowen and Bowen security guards, who were shot and killed during a robbery at Bowen and Bowen Ltd. on Slaughterhouse Road.
After shooting the two security guards, Fidel Mai and Kevin Alvarez, Pipersburgh and Robateau pounced on a man and woman, David Flores and Cherry Tucker. Flores and Tucker, who were both killed by the duo, were in a parked car in the Buttonwood Bay area of the city.
After killing Flores and Tucker, Pipersburgh and Robateau attempted to escape in the car that they had stolen from them, but they only managed to reach as far as Ladyville.
Following their conviction for the murder of the four persons, Pipersburgh and Robateau appealed their conviction all the way to the Privy Council in London, England, Belize’s final Court of Appeal, and at that time, the court ordered a re-trial of the case.
They were re-tried in 2011, but at the conclusion of this new trial, they were only convicted for the murder of the two security guards.
When Pipersburgh and Robateau last appeared before the Supreme Court in July, their attorney, Hector Guerra, had made submissions asking Justice Williams to sentence the two to a fixed term, somewhere between 20 to 30 years.
In his decision, Justice Williams noted that although both convicts have made substantial efforts at reform, and have shown remorse for the crimes they were found guilty of, the court still has the responsibility to ensure that the punishment fits the crime.
Justice Williams also noted the horrific nature of the crime that the two had committed.
At the time of the robbery at Bowen and Bowen Ltd., both convicts were employees of the company. Robateau was 25 years old at the time, and Pipersburgh was 44.