by Anita Nembhard/Flowers
channel 1 Belize.com
Belize City, Weds. Mar. 16, 2022
In a strange twist of possible courtroom confusion, one of 3 men accused of the 2016 murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr., has pleaded guilty to the charge murder, after his guilty plea for manslaughter was rejected.
The matter came up yesterday in the Orange Walk Supreme Court before Justice Herbert Lord in that jurisdiction.
He is Guatemalan native, Noe Gamaliel Gonzalez Avila who in the presence of his attorney and based on advice of his attorney pleaded guilty initially to manslaughter.
But that guilty plea to the charge of manslaughter was rejected by the DPP crown, and that is when Avila decided to plea guilty to a charge of murder.
We understand that it is the first time that has happened in his jurisdiction, that someone has pleaded guilty to murder.
The other two men charged jointly with Avila for the same murder pleaded guilty to manslaughter and the DPP crown has since accepted their guilty plea for that laser charge.
But as explained to us by Attorney Rodriguez, any number can play as a relates to the case against his client as sentencing against the men particularly his client, Noe Avila has been adjourn.
Justice Herbert Lord has set March 23, 2022 for mitigation plea to be heard first as a social inquiry report pertaining to the incarceration of Avila and the others is pending before a sentence can be imposed.
There is also the possibility of Avila changing his guilty plea for murder to not guilty we were told since we were informed that Avila allegedly gave police a caution statement in which he acknowledged certain things but also alleged that he was promised by a high ranking officer at the time that if he gave the statement, he will be able to serve his prison time in a Guatemalan prison.
Attorney Rodriguez told us that he will wait for March 24, 2022 to see how the matter will unfold in court.
But reliable sources indicate to us that there is a very high possibility that Avila could changed his guilty plea for murder from guilty back to not guilty.
In July 2014 Cervantes Sr., who had been kidnapped initial was later found dead.
It took police over two years, until July 2016 to make an arrest in the sensational murder case.