Last year former UDP Mayor of Orange Walk Town Ravell Gonzalez was convicted of 2 counts of causing death by careless conduct after he knocked down and killed Martina Lopez, a two-year-old, and Manuel Coto on June 15th, 2008, at mile 35 on the Phillip Goldson Highway near Rahbrun Ridge.
Gonzalez was fined $4,000 for each count and he was ordered to pay $1,000 to the family of the victims. The decision was appealed by the by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal and upheld today by the Belize Court of Appeal who set aside Gonzalez’s sentence and ordered him to pay a fine of $8,000 and $10,000 in compensation to the family of the victims. Gonzalez was ordered to pay the fine and compensation over a period of 2 years or in default he will serve 9 months in prison. Gonzalez was represented by attorney Tricia Pitts Anderson and the DPP was assisted by Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith.
As previously mentioned Gonzalez was heading from Belize City to his home on the San Antonio Road, in the Orange Walk District, when he accidentally knocked down Coto and Lopez. Coto was walking a bicycle with Lopez on it, when they were knocked down while in the company of three other family members on the highway.
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