Screen_Shot_2017-03-23_at_8.05.10_PMFirst it was Daniel Ku and now 30 year old Osmar Sabido who was convicted of the murder of his common-law wife, 21 year old Christie Carrasco got his conviction reduced to manslaughter. The news that the Belize Court of Appeal upheld the appeal filed by Sabido’s Lawyer Leeroy Banner today, shocked the family and friends of Carrasco who was brutally murdered on February 28th 2011 at the couple’s home in San Lorenzo Housing Site in Orange Walk.

When Sabido was found guilty of murder on April 26th, 2016, he was sentenced to life in prison. His Attorney’s Oscar Salgado and Leeroy Banner then appealed the conviction at the Belize Court of Appeal on the main ground that it was a case of extreme provocation and the trial Judge did not address that particular issues at the time the case was heard.

Attorney Salgado spoke to the media about the appeal after it was upheld today.

Oscar Salgado – Attorney At Law

“We appealed, Mr. Leroy Banner and myself appealed on several grounds and one of the grounds was that the Trial judge did not take into consideration the evidence which showed that Osmar Sabido was provoked and the defense of provocation was substantive in our defense, the court of appeal dwelled on provocation a lot and in its ruling held that in fact the judge aired in not considering provocation to the full extent thereby allowing a partial defense to Osmar Sabido, provocation reduces, is a partial defense which reduces the charge of murder to manslaughter and the court has so held that the evidence displayed, that in fact Osmar Sabido was provoked and the court has reduced in its discretion, exercise its discretion to reduce the conviction from murder to manslaughter and has set June the 5th at the date for which the court of appeal will hear legal arguments from our side on mitigation as to what is the appropriate sentence in terms of years of sentence for Osmar Sabido.”

During trial last year Sabido testified that Carrasco told him that she thinks that she is pregnant for another man and also stated that it was Carrasco who attacked him with a knife. This was considered by the Belize Court of Appeal and led to the reduction of the conviction.

Oscar Salgado – Attorney At Law

“In the evidence that came before the trial judge Osmar Sabido swore on oath that in fact Christie Carasco deceased was the person who first attacked him with a knife after she had disclosed to him that she had another man, she was in another relationship, that is one act of provocation and that led from his disclosure, his evidence to a physical altercation between them and that physical altercation is what sparked everything else that followed.”



“Sir, how do you reconcile what the court is viewing as law and  appropriate when compared to the emotional impact of this violent act which claims the life of a young lady and the fact that the family will feel as though that they agreed that this was a conviction for murder now reduce to manslaughter?”

Screen_Shot_2017-03-23_at_8.05.17_PMOscar Salgado – Attorney At Law

“It’s a balancing act for the court, the judges of the court has to balance satisfying or appeasing the grieve of the family with imposing sentence upon the convicted person but like I said it’s a balancing act and they will have to balance what are the purposes of the criminal law or criminal sentencing and like I said there are several reasons why the court imposes sentence and one of them is to rehabilitate the offender, the other is to send a strong public condemnation of the crime that has been committed  so the court will balance by sending a public condemnation to this type of behavior along with what is reasonable to rehabilitate the offender.”

Danny Ku who was found guilty of the murder of his wife, nurse Anna Maria Magdalena Basto, in 2006 and sentenced to life imprisonment also received a lesser charge of manslaughter on February 20th 2017 after his lawyer appeal the case on the grounds of provocation. So are we seeing a trend?

Oscar Salgado – Attorney At Law

“Each case is decided upon its own merits and it is dependent upon what evidence is produce at court in trial that could substantiate provocation but once provocation is proven the court then acts upon precedence in previous cases and I have a litany of cases where I can quote to the court on how sentencing should go and provocation or manslaughter ranges from anywhere 10 to 25 years but it all depends on how the arguments are presented how you can convince the court one way or another.”

On the night of the incident Carrasco received four stab wounds, two on the chest. As mentioned by Salgado sentencing has been reserved for June 25th, 2017. While Sabido was represented by Salgado and Banner, the respondent was represented by Senior Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith and Crown Counsel Javier Chan. 

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