BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 15, 2018– A jury of 8 women and 4 men deliberated for about 3 hours and 5 minutes yesterday in the court of Madam Justice Marilyn Williams before they found Warren Lewis, 27, not guilty of the murder of Alberto Allen, 22, who was killed on August 18, 2009.
Allen’s body was found at a dumpsite located at Mile 4 on the George Price Highway, opposite Cisco Construction Company. There was a bullet wound in his lower back, his throat had been slashed and a piece of stick had been shoved down his throat.
The Crown, represented by Crown Counsel Rene Montero, had relied mainly on a caution statement Lewis gave to the police in which he admitted that he killed Allen because Allen violated him.
Also in the statement, Lewis said that he shot Allen and when he did not die, he slashed his throat and he took the police to the dumpsite and showed them where Allen’s body was.
The Crown also relied on ballistic evidence that indicated that the .380 slug that was taken from Allen’s body matched the three expended shells that were retrieved from the dumpsite by the police, and that the shells came from the .380 pistol that was found in a grey Toyota car that Lewis was driving, which police pursued and intercepted on Curl Thompson Street.
In his defense Lewis gave a statement from the dock in which he admitted that he gave the statement but said that he gave it under duress. Lewis said Inspector Nicholas Palomo, who was a sergeant at the time, beat him to force him to give the statement and Assistant Superintendent Grinage promised to get him out of the situation if he cooperated.
Grinage testified and denied that he made any promise to Lewis. But Palomo could not testify because he had died earlier this year. However, a transcript of the testimony he had given at the second trial in which he denied beating Lewis was read in court, and it was admitted as evidence.
Obviously, the jury believed that Lewis did not give the statement voluntarily, since he was found not guilty. It was Lewis’ third trial for Allen’s murder. The first, which was held in 2013, was aborted because a juror had made an inappropriate statement when he said that the accused persons, Lewis and Cordel Flores, who was charged jointly with Lewis, had a winning case and the statement was made before all of the evidence was presented at the trial.
At the second trial, which was in 2015, the jury acquitted Flores and was unable to reach a verdict for Lewis. Consequently, a retrial was ordered for Lewis.
Flores was implicated by the police in the murder because he was in the car with Lewis when the police intercepted the car. Police became suspicious of the car because it was muddy and the day was clear and sunny.
In addition to that, the car had Cayo District license plates.
Lewis was represented by attorney Darrell Bradley.