After a little over seven years, a verdict was finally handed down on a road traffic incident that killed two persons near Rahburn Ridge Village in the Belize District. Viewers may recall that on June 15th 2008, former Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Ravell Gonzalez, knocked down and killed a 2 year old girl and one of her relatives. Yesterday, a jury of nine found Gonzalez guilty of two counts of causing death by careless conduct. The jury of five men and four women deliberated for three hours before reaching a unanimous verdict in the Supreme Court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. After pleas of mitigation from Oscar Rosado and co-attorney Ellis Arnold, Justice Gonzalez set a fine of $4,000 on each count and ordered further compensation to the family of two year old Martita Lopez. For further context, authorities reported that between 7:30 and 7:45 p.m. on June 15th, between miles 35 and 36 on Phillip Goldson Highway, Gonzalez was driving a burgundy Dodge Caravan coming from Belize City and heading to Orange Walk when he knocked down Manuel Coto who was walking a bicycle with Lopez on it. Lopez’ parents, Manuel Lopez and Martha Garcia, who were along with the deceased, testified that Gonzalez was driving fast and that they were on the side of the road. Gonzalez testified and said that he was blinded by the lights of an oncoming vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. Gonzalez, who is now a Crown Counsel in the Ministry of the Attorney General, must pay the fines and compensation by November 30th, or in default face concurrent sentences of 1 year in prison. Gonzalez was also represented by attorney Tricia Anderson. Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith represented the prosecution.
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