Rodwell Williams Alleged Shooter Will Be First To Be Tried Without Jury

Belize's first trial without jury is set to commence in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. In his speech for this year's opening, CJ Benjamin had indicated that trial without jury would start in this legal year, but he had not indicated when.

Well, 7News has confirmed that the first case is the Crown versus Ricky Valencia and Akeem Thurton for the attempted murder of Attorney Rodwell Willliams.

Viewers may recall that Williams was shot several times on May 30, 2010 at around 8 p.m. while he was leaving his law office of Barrow and Williams, a law firm in which he and Prime Minister Dean Barrow are partners. That case came up today in the Supreme Court, and while it did not start, the matter was addressed as both accused, Akeem Thurton and Ricky Valenciak, where before the court.

Today, Ricky Valencia told the court that he has retained representation, but his attorney didn't know that today was the date that the trial was set to start. Thurton also informed the court that his attorney cannot represent him, and as a result, he now has to seek legal representation elsewhere.

Both men asked the court to grant them an adjournment so they could tie up loose ends with their legal assistance. The matter was adjourned for Wednesday morning at 9:00 before the Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin.

This case is a landmark one because it presents a new era for murder and murder related charges to be heard before the court. As its name indicates, there will be no jury to hear the facts, and CJ Benjamin will be both the judge of the law and the facts.

Channel 7