Today, at the Northern session of the Supreme Court, a jury of 12 found 26 year old Krismar Espinosa not guilty for murder but guilty of a lesser charge for manslaughter. Viewers may recall that in September of 2007, Espinosa was accused for the murder of 24 year old Rachel Cicely Chun. Chun’s badly decomposed body was removed from an unfinished concrete house on Santa Familia Street in Orange Walk Town. At the crime scene, a bloody cement block, which was believed to be the murder weapon, was also found. That same day, Krismar Espinosa, an Orange Walk resident, who was only seventeen years old at the time, was arrested since he was the last person Chun was seen with and due to the conversations he had following the murder. Espinosa was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Sentencing was set for June 18th, 2015.
Espinosa also has a second charge of murder to answer to. On December 24th 2009, Keon Swasey, who was on remand for a number of charges, was stabbed to death in a prison cell at the Belize Central Prison. Krismar Espinosa immediately became a suspect since he was taking a phone call around the same area the stabbing took place and because it was believed that there was an old beef between the two inmates. After being handed over to the Criminal Investigative Branch, Espinosa was processed and charged for the murder of twenty one year old Swasey. Espinosa’s murder trial began on November 26th 2012 but he was acquitted of the murder of Swasey after Justice Troadio Gonzalez upheld a no case submission made by Espinosa’s attorney Rachel Montejo. The jury of four women and eight men were directed to acquit him of the charge on the basis that the crown council’s two main witnesses, prison officers Floyd Neal, and Punciano Cowo, provided no evidence that Espinosa indeed committed the murder and further more were unable to identify him as the person who committed the killing. The Department of Public Prosecution appealed the case and a retrial was ordered. That retrial is yet to commence.
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