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Stepfather found guilty of manslaughter of stepson, 3

GeneralStepfather found guilty of manslaughter of stepson, 3

Photo: Kenrick Longsworth

by Roy Davis (freelance writer)

BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 5, 2024

Kenrick Longsworth, 31, who was charged with murder and 2 counts of grievous harm in connection with the death of his 3-year-old stepson, was found guilty of manslaughter and wounding today by Justice Derek Sylvester.

The case was adjourned until June 17 in order for an impact assessment statement, a social inquiry report, a psychiatric report, a report from Belize Central Prison, and the antecedent of the convict to be prepared for submission to the court.

Longsworth’s manslaughter conviction affirms that he was criminally responsible for the death of Mark Teul, 3, his stepson, who was killed on January 10, 2020. His conviction for wounding is for the injuries sustained by Zemark Teul, Mark’s older brother, who was beaten by Longsworth on the same day that little Mark was killed. In the case of Markeem Teul, brother of Mark and Zemark, Longsworth was found not guilty of causing harm to him.

The evidence adduced by the Crown, represented by Crown Counsels Riis Cattouse and Shanell Fernandez, was circumstantial, and the main witness was Zeema Requena, the mother of the three children, who was living with Longsworth at 27 Lovely Lane at the time of the incident. She testified that on the day of the incident she left Longsworth with the children and she went with a friend to the Belize Family Court. She said that when she returned home she saw Mark lying on a mattress with bruises on his face and body and he appeared motionless. She said that when she asked Longsworth what had happened, Longsworth told her that the children frustrated him, and he asked her to buy a cigarette from the shop across the street for him, and she did so.

She said she, with the help of a neighbour, took Mark to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

She said she later found out that her other sons had sustained injuries, but their injuries were not life threatening.

During Longsworth’s testimony in the court, he admitted that he did beat Mark and Zemark, but he said he didn’t cause the death of Mark. He said that it was Zeema who beat Mark with a piece of stick and caused his death. He said that Zeema beat the children after he told her that he was leaving her.

In arriving at his verdict, Justice Sylvester said that he was convinced that it was Longsworth who caused Mark’s death, but he did not believe that when Longsworth beat Mark with the piece of stick that his intention was to kill, hence the conviction for manslaughter.

In the case of Zemark and Markeem, Justice Sylvester only found evidence that it was Longsworth who caused the injuries to Zemark, but not to Markeem.

Longsworth was represented by attorney Andrew Bennett.

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