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Jan 16, 2018

P.C. Tevin Aranda Charged for Manslaughter in Mario Vernon Death

Tevin Aranda

Twenty-three-year-old Tevin Aranda has been charged with manslaughter, following the shooting death of Mario Vernon Jr. in Punta Gorda Town on Saturday night.  The arraignment of the police constable in the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court earlier today, is perhaps little or no comfort to Vernon’s grieving family.  They strongly believe that despite his many run-ins with the law, Mario was shot and killed execution-style by the pursuing officer.  The incident unfolded sometime after nine o’clock that night when police on mobile patrol visited an area of Main Street where Vernon and several others were socializing.  According to eyewitnesses, he was initially approached by Police Constable Tevin Aranda.  A short while thereafter, Vernon was inside an abandoned lot not far away from where the previous encounter with Aranda took place.  Residents say they heard a single gunshot being fired and later discovered that Vernon had been shot in the head by PC Aranda.  His version of what transpired differs sharply from what eyewitnesses saw.  Aranda says that Vernon was in possession of a firearm and while in pursuit of the gun-wielding youth, the weapon was pointed in his direction.  Fearing for his life, Aranda discharged a single round from his service weapon, killing the late Leela Vernon’s grandson where he stood.

 

Franz Vernon Sr.

Franz Vernon Sr., Uncle of Deceased

“My nephew is, I noh wahn seh he da wah [saint].  He’s been in an out of trouble.  You know, he was a troubled youth.  I tried with him and everything but ah noh think ih deserve dehn kinda treatment deh, execution-style death because dehn got guys right now in the penitentiary that commit so many murders and they are right there.  They have humanitarian movement now, it’s not like in the days when you could just hang someone for a murder, much less fi just go and execute somebody like that.  Noh man, yoh cyant do things like that man.  We live eena wahn different world now.  As a matter of fact, he was not even a running away criminal or wanted or nothing, the guy was just chilling out.  If they wanted to do anything to him, apprehend the man and ker ahn da station man.  Dehn done like beat man, touch up di man wahn two time and knock up ahn and ker ahn deh man.  Mek ih go do ih time da jail if he dah wahn menace to society.  Every minute unu di hold… Dehn hold di man, dehn let ahn go, dehn hold ahn dehn let ahn go, yo undastand.  My nephew was living right here with me at Ms. Leela Vernon’s premises on Number Six Front Street, you know.  Eena wahn span of like wahn month, police come through my place like nearly three four times, you know, di look fu mi nephew.  As dehn hold di man dehn let ahn go… Dehn create like wahn rat race with this young man, you know.”

 

PC Tevin Aranda was granted bail in the sum of ten thousand dollars after being arraigned in the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court today.  He is due back in court on April sixteenth, 2018.

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