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May 28, 2003

Suspects arrested in recent murders

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Police may have been powerless to prevent the recent spate of shootings in Belize City, but they have worked quickly to arrest those they believe are responsible for the crimes. Jacqueline Woods has details.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Today, the police made three major arrests in connection with two murders that occurred on April twenty-seventh and May twenty-sixth. In the first killing, authorities suspect that eighteen-year-old Aaron Usher is the young man who fatally stabbed twenty-four year old Dwayne Lemoth as he walked home from a nightclub. Usher, who is no stranger to police, has been charged with Lemoth’s murder and has been remanded to Hattieville prison.

G. Michael Reid, Police Press Officer

“Well we hope that people will understand that the police is working very hard given the resources at hand. Certainly we rely a lot on the community to get involved, to help us, to call us. For a long time the police was under a stigma that in fact they are not protecting people when they call and the police are doing their best to do what we can to protect the identity who give information. And certainly we are asking the community to get involved.”

Authorities say it is community participation that led them to twenty-two year old Jerry Bush and twenty year old Terrence Bailey. Police strongly believe that both Bush and Bailey opened fire on Kareem Swazo and Calbert Budd inside a car they were travelling in as the vehicle stopped at the corner of Allenby Street and Euphrates Avenue. Swazo died on the way to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, while Budd remains in a critical but stable condition.

G. Michael Reid

“Certainly, in part it is as a result of participation and a result of detective work on the part of the police department. The officers have been out there diligently trying to solve this latest spate of violence, we certainly want the community to feel safe and know that the police will be there whenever incidents like these occur, to bring those responsible to justice.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Word on the street is that the intended target was Marlon Budd and not Kareem Swazo.”

G. Michael Reid

“At this point that is pure speculation, we don’t know. We know that Swazo was the victim; whether or not he was the intended victim makes him no less dead.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Do the police have sufficient evidence for a conviction for Jerry Bush, Terrence Bailey and Aaron Usher?”

G. Michael Reid

“Well certainty we have enough evidence for charges. If the D.P.P. had thought that there was not sufficient evidence we could not have proceeded. Whether we’ll have enough evidence for conviction, the court system, as you know, is a slow and tedious process and maybe this is something else that has to be looked at, because it gives people time to think, it gives witnesses time to be intimidated and certainly we have got to put a more speedier process.”

Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Bush and Bailey have been charged with murder, attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm.

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