Looking for People and Answers
Sam Wesley, the Roatan, Honduras man accused of shooting Australian citizen Joe O'Donnell in the back during an argument over where he parked his bicycle, has been committed to stand trial. O'Donnell was shot in the back at point-blank range in front of several witnesses on August 19. Almost two months earlier, he got into a dispute with a local family when he parked his bike near their property. It will be alleged the feud continued to escalate over several weeks before Mr O'Donnell (who also holds Irish citizenship) was shot on the island of Roatan, where he had been working to set up a dive shop.
Sam Wesley -- whose family has deep roots in the Roatan community -- today had a court hearing in Coxen Hole, the main town on the island. He was ordered to stand trial within 60 days. He has been charged with attempted murder, but his next court date has not been set. Since the shooting, he has been under "house arrest", though many people on the island claim to have seen him out and about.
The Honduran "justice" system has a long history of letting local killers go free. One example is that of Alberto Lima, who was murdered on Roatan in 2000 by tenants from whom he was attempting to collect past-due rent. Alberto's story -- and that of his family's still unsuccessful efforts to find justice -- has been documented by his son, Paul, in the soon-to-be-released film, My Father's People (watch the trailer).