General — 17 July 2019 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Patrick Reyes, Teakettle villager convicted of double murder, to be eligible for parole after serving 40 years

BELIZE CITY, Fri. July 12, 2019– Patrick Reyes, a resident of Teakettle who was convicted of a double murder and was given two life sentences, was told today by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin that he would be eligible for parole after he has served 20 years in prison for each conviction, which would amount to 40 years.

Reyes was actually given sentences of 25 years for each conviction, but 5 years was deducted from each sentence — 2 years for the time he spent on remand and 3 years for his exemplary behavior while he has been in prison.

Reyes was convicted of the murders of Wayne Garbutt and his wife, Evelyn, whom he shot and killed on April 16, 1997, in Teakettle. Reyes and Garbutt had had a dispute over a strip of land that was located between their properties and matters came to a head when Reyes saw that Garbutt was fencing the area.

Reyes approached Garbutt and asked him about the land and Garbutt told him that he had bought the land.

When Reyes asked Garbutt to show him the land title, however, he refused.

Reyes first shot one of Garbutt’s employees, and then he shot Garbutt. Reyes then shot Garbutt’s wife, Evelyn, as she came out of the house and stepped onto the verandah.

Garbutt’s employee survived, but the Garbutt couple did not.

Reyes then turned the gun on himself. He was hospitalized for about 3 months before he was released from the hospital.

Before he decided on the sentence, Chief Justice Benjamin heard aggravating factors from Crown Counsel Sherigne Rodriguez and mitigating factors from attorney Illiana Swift. The aggravating factor was that Reyes had committed two successive killings.

The mitigating factor was that Reyes had no previous conviction.

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