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Accused Murderers Walk Free

Accused Murderers Walk Free
April 27
18:13 2019

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 –
It made headlines back in July of 2018 when two San Pedro men and a minor were all charged for the ruthless murder of retired American national Cliff Kirk at his home on northern Ambergris Caye. But less than a year after, on April 24th the charges against the three accused were dismissed due to insufficient evidence and the trio was set free.

Local island newspaper The San Pedro Sun is reporting that Christian Espat, Nigel Williams and the minor were all acquitted of the murder charge when they appeared in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court after their attorney Dickie Bradley was able to convince Magistrate Deborah Rogers that there was no concrete evidence against the accused.

Apart from citing that no proper identification parade was done to identify the alleged culprits as well as the fact that the Magistrate did not receive any official document certifying that Kirk was dead, Bradley stressed that the accused cannot be held liable for something that has not been officially lodged and confirmed.

The Sun reported that Bradley also argued his case on the grounds of a statement given by the main witness who was the caretaker of the property at the time. In that statement, the caretaker had alleged that prior to the murder two young men had visited the deceased’s property twice to ask for fuel and on the last visit to ask for a phone call. It was on the last visit that the caretaker alleged that two more men emerged from the bushes and held him up at gunpoint.

According to The San Pedro Sun, Bradley noted that the caretaker had testified that there were three tall, dark-skinned males and one short clear-skinned individual. Bradley, however, pointed out that none of those descriptions matched any of his clients, citing that one of the accused was clear-skinned but tall, the next individual was brown in skin color but short and the third is dark in complexion but not tall. According to Bradley, the caretaker had noted that the men were all wearing masks and so he could not recognize them.

Bradley also managed to take on another witness statement given by the deceased’s wife in which she stated that the men were wearing masks and so she could not identify them. The wife had stated that perhaps she could have identified the men based on their body build, however according to Bradley, nowhere in her statement did she describe the body build of any of his clients.

When looking at all the evidence, the Magistrate concluded that what was submitted by the prosecution was poor and based on those grounds she dismissed the case but not before warning the trio that the Director of Public Prosecutions can still override her decision and take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Back then, the trio was also charged with Aggravated Burglary, Attempted Murder, Dangerous Harm and Use of Deadly Means of Harm.

Kirk, a retired army veteran was shot to his head on July 5th by four assailants while walking down the stairs of his home. He was transported to mainland Belize City for treatment and then airlifted to the United States where he died from his injuries a couple days later. During the armed home invasion, the assailants escaped with a briefcase, firearms and a jet ski.

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