BELIZE CITY, Fri. Mar. 22, 2019– Marcus Garcia, 24, who had pleaded guilty to use of deadly means of harm on January 31, 2019, was sentenced to 10 months today by Justice Colin Williams.
Before he decided on the sentence, Justice Williams heard a plea for mitigation from Garcia, who said that he really wants a second chance in his life to deal with himself and his family. He asked Justice Williams to sentence him to time served.
Justice Williams told him that the sentence for the offence is 2 years, but he will use 18 months as the starting point.
In arriving at the sentence of 10 months, Justice Williams said that because he pleaded guilty and saved the court time, he is entitled to a deduction of one-third of his sentence of 18 months, but because of the aggravating circumstances, the deduction will be 5 months, instead of 6 months.
Justice Williams also deducted 3 months from the remaining 13 months, which brought down the sentence to 10 months.
Crown Counsel Portia Ferguson, who represented the Crown, had asked that the sentence run consecutive to a sentence of 2 years that Garcia is serving for an ammunition conviction, but Justice Williams stipulated that it should run concurrently to the time he is serving, which means that Garcia will serve no more than 10 months.
The incident occurred around 1 a.m. on July 22, 2017. The victim, Emmeth Baptist, 31, a taxi driver of Belize City, reported to police that he picked up Garcia and a young woman on Central American Boulevard and they directed him to take them to an Address on Aloe Vera Street.
Baptist said that when they arrived at the address, the woman got out of his car and went on her way. He said Garcia then got out and approached him on the driver’s side, and he thought that Garcia was going to pay him.
Instead, he looked up into the barrel of a gun, a .38 revolver, and Garcia said to him, “Big boy, I want everything”.
Baptist said he took $35 out of his pocket and handed it to Garcia, and then he suddenly reversed his car. He said that Garcia fired four shots at him while he was reversing, and he was shot in his back and on his left index finger.
Baptist said that he continued to reverse the car, then turned into Tibruce Street and then on to Mahogany Street, where he was stopped by a police mobile. He said he reported the incident to the police.
Garcia was later arrested and charged with attempted murder, robbery, wounding and use of deadly means of harm, but he was only indicted for use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm and in the alternative, use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause a wound, the charge to which he pleaded guilty.
Garcia was not represented by an attorney at the sentencing.