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Selgado asks for court’s mercy

GeneralSelgado asks for court’s mercy

by Roy Davis (freelance writer)

BELIZE CITY, Fri. May 17, 2024

Attorney Oscar Selgado, 54, who is awaiting sentencing for the crime of abetment to murder, took the witness stand today and told Justice Nigel Pilgrim that he was putting himself at the mercy of the court.

He asked Justice Pilgrim to temper justice with mercy and not give him a custodial sentence.

He said that he has been in prison on remand for 71 days up to today’s date, and he asked that he be returned back into society and be given the opportunity to continue to do his work as an attorney, so that he can help people who are in need. He pointed out that over the period of 10 years during which he has been practicing law as an attorney, he has done 62 pro bono cases. He spoke about having to pay a monthly mortgage on his house, and having to pay over $50,000 for a civil suit – an amount that he has only paid half of so far.

He apologized to Marilyn Barnes and asked her forgiveness for having caused her anguish in relation to the crime of abetment of murder.

He related to the court how he grew up in a poor family with 14 siblings, and how he improved his condition in life by getting a secondary school education and becoming first a teacher, then a Belize Defence Force soldier—rising to the rank of captain, before he went to law school and became an attorney.

He spoke about helping his family financially, and making sure that his younger siblings get an education.

Before he gave his emotionally charged speech, several character witnesses testified on his behalf. Among them were one of his sisters, Cordelia Selgado; his brother, Frank Selgado; attorney Michelle Trapp and Senior Counsel Hubert Elrington.

The sentence hearing was adjourned until May 23. On that day, two doctors, prison superintendent Virgilio Murillo, and another character witness are expected to testify.

Selgado is being represented by attorneys Arthur Saldivar and Darrell Bradley.

The Crown is being represented by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal.

The maximum sentence for abetment to murder is life imprisonment.

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