Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Deadly shooting prank - Belizean banker fined after killing friend

Published:Saturday | February 10, 2018 | 4:43 PM

A High Court judge has ordered a banker to pay a BDS$15,000 (One Belize dollar=US$0, 49 cents) fine after he was convicted of unlawful harm through negligence of a firearm in the accidental death of his friend, who was shot in the mouth in 2013.

The court heard that Edwardo Torres, 45 and his friend Paul Fernandez, 32, were socialising at an establishment on the Philip Goldson Highway in May 2013 when the incident occurred.

According to the evidence as the establishment was closing the men went out to the parking lot and according to two other patrons who were witnesses in the case, they heard the men conversing with Fernandez telling Torres to put his licensed firearm in his mouth, Fernandez’s mouth.

Torres did so without the magazine and the gun went off, shooting Fernandez in the mouth. Fernandez fell to the ground and Torres picked up the weapon and ran from the scene to his home.

Torres pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful harm through negligence of a firearm and Justice Marilyn Williams noted that while he was a first-time offender, the fact remained that he should not have taken his friend’s challenge and acted recklessly, even under the influence of alcohol.

She set a fine of BDS$15,000 with BDS$5,000 due by November 9, this year. The remainder is to be paid to the estate of Fernandez by the same date.