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Oct 26, 2018

Belize City Trio Found Guilty of 2012 Murder

After spending more than six years in jail, today three Belize City men learned that they will spend many more years behind bars. Andy Forbes, William Vasquez, and Clinton Harris were found guilty of the murder of Joseph Myers. The incident happened on June fifteenth, 2012.  The trio pounced on a group of men who were at Living Hope Preparatory School on Maskall Street on south side Belize City and unleashed a barrage of bullets. Myers and three others were hit; however, Myer’s injuries proved fatal.  Presiding over the trial was Justice Colin Williams who rejected the alibis of Forbes and Vasquez, but accepted the evidence of the Crown’s main witness who placed the three convicts at the scene of the crime. In court, Justice Williams found the trio guilty and deferred sentencing to December. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo files this report.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Three men, William Vasquez, Clinton Harris, and Andy Forbes became convicts today when they were found guilty of the 2012 murder of Joseph Myers. The judgment was delivered by Supreme Court Justice, Colin Williams, who presided over the trial which began more than a week ago. The prosecution was represented by Crown Counsel Kileru Awich who relied on the testimonies of Elvis Olivera, Fenton, and Danny Maskall who all placed the three convicts at the scene at the time of the fatal shooting.

 

Kileru Awich

Kileru Awich, Crown Counsel

“Two of the crown witnesses who testified were bothers and they placed Andy Forbes and Clinton Harris on the scene as the first two shooters who started shooting. The third crown witness was able to identify not only Andy Forbes and Clinton Harris but also William Vasquez. That is why the judge was sure as to identification. All these witnesses grew up in the same neighborhood, they knew each other from the time they were kids. So these were not strangers and they were observed at very close distances which is why the judge felts sure that the identity of the accused persons was indeed correct.”

 

Vasquez and Forbes told the court that they were nowhere near the scene at the time of the incident. Their alibis were not accepted. Harris sought to take the rap for the deadly shooting. He gave investigators a caution statement saying his intention was not to kill Myers but Olivera.

 

Joseph Myers

Kileru Awich

“There was a caution statement involved in the case that was given by Clinton Harris. He basically admitted to going to the location in the day in question. He basically said that the other two accused were not involved; it was just him but that he went there not to kill Joseph Myers but to kill the person who ended up being the crown’s witness. So that statement was admitted. The statement was actually given after Clinton Harris had been charged. The police had already gotten statements from all the eyewitnesses and Clinton Harris decided for whatever reason decided to give the statement the day he was already charged. He gave the statement after consulting the other two accused persons. Of note is that all three persons are related; William Vasquez and Clinton Harris are brothers and Andy Forbes is their cousin.”

 

On June fifteen 2012, the trio ambushed a group of men who were socializing on the verandah of Living Hope Preparatory School on Maskall Street, Belize City. The trio opened fire on the group, hitting four men including Myers whose injuries proved fatal. The other three victims survived. It was a calculated attack for which Vasquez, Harris, and Forbes will later learn how many years they will be spending behind bars.

 

Kileru Awich

“Basic facts of this case was that Joseph Myers was along with three of the prosecution’s witnesses socializing when they saw William Vasquez pass in a taxi. So they decided to move from one location within the compound to the main building. While they were in the main building, Andy Forbes and Clinton Harris approached from the back and started firing. In the process of that firing, Joseph Myers was shot and his friends dispersed, running away for their lives. Some of them ran towards the back of the building where William Vasquez was waiting for anyone who would be escaping through the back and he was armed with a firearm. He attacked one of the crown witnesses who jumped over the railing. William Vasquez landed on him and was hitting him with the firearm on the head. Andy Forbes was there present and placed the gun to the head of that witness pulled the trigger and the gun failed to fire. That is when Clinton Harris came to the back of the building as well and Andy Forbes told him “Shoot him in the head” referring to the witness who was struggling with William Vasquez. The witness managed to get William Vasquez from on top of him and started to struggle with Clinton Harris who Andy Forbes had said shoot him in the head. He managed to wrestle the gun away and punch Clinton Harris and he fell to the ground and that is when that witness managed to escaped. It is when he escaped that he realized that he had been shot. The other witness who had ran to the back of the building managed to hide under the verandah of the building. So the three accused did not see him when he was at the back of the building hiding but heard pretty much what was going on with the three accused and the other crown witness.”

 

Attorney Simeon Sampson represented Vasquez and Harris while Forbes was represented by Attorney Nigel Ebanks. Sentencing was deferred to December seventh, 2018. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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