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Jan 2, 2019

Senior Citizen in Lucky Strike is the First Murder Victim of 2019

Howard Coleman

It was a bloody New Year’s Day in Belize. Five persons were brutally killed within twenty-four hours. The first murder for 2019 was recorded in a small village in rural Belize where a fifty-eight-year-old man was killed under odd circumstances. Howard Coleman celebrated the New Year with friends and then left for home in the early hours of Tuesday morning. But sometime between four and five that morning, he was hacked to death with a “half machete” that are used for wood carving. Police say that the alleged killer dropped off a woman at Coleman’s home where she was staying. And when the man refused to leave, he got into a fight, chopping Coleman to death. And the series of tragic events took another turn when the killer allegedly raped the woman and later reported the incident to a Justice of the Peace in the village. Reporter Andrea Polanco was in Lucky Strike today where she found out that the alleged killer did report the murder blaming it on an unidentified man, but the conflicting versions of events led the cops straight to him.

 

Andrea Polanco

Andrea Polanco

“The first murder in 2019 happened here in Lucky Strike Village in the Belize District. The victim is Senior citizen Howard Coleman. He was chopped to death inside his house. His body was discovered in the early hours of the morning of New Year’s Day.”

 

Allan Jones, Vice Chairman & J.P., Lucky Strike Village

“Approaching Howard’s front door which the entrance, I saw blood on the outside and glanced over to my right and saw Howard lying there in a pool of blood. I investigated his condition and I was aware that he was dead. It is the first time I saw something like that. So shocking. I can’t believe it and I am still traumatized up to last night.”

 

Allan Jones

Andrea Polanco

“He had chop wounds to the body?”

 

Allan Jones

“Yes. Chop wounds – excessive chop wounds. He had big chop wounds over the shoulder and to the hands. I didn’t interfere with the body for the purpose that I know that this is a police investigation. So, I didn’t turn him over because he was lying face-down. I was made to understand that he was chopped in the face also and one of his wrists.”

 

Allan Jones, the Vice-Chairman of Lucky Strike, was the first villager on the scene. He says he found out about the killing when a resident of the village and a woman went to his house to tell him that they had been attacked and that Coleman had been chopped up sometime between four and five in the morning of New Year’s Day. But Jones, who is familiar with the deceased and accused, would soon find out that this story wasn’t true.

 

Allan Jones

“They came to my yard, my house, and reported that someone attacked them both of them and Howard supposed to get chopped and he is outside groaning and moaning. So, I did a little interview with them and asked how long ago it happened and he said between four and five.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Did he say why this person attacked them?”

 

Allan Jones

“I even asked him something like that and he kinda give conflicting statement to me and at Howard’s house I find out more less that he is telling a lie.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, right now the primary suspect appears to be a resident from here in the village?”

 

Allan Jones

“At the end of the day from the village more than likely. I didn’t treat Giovanni as a suspect. He was always saying he didn’t kill Howard and he didn’t chop Howard. I treated him as a witness because he said somebody attacked them. Almost on a daily basis he talks about killing, killing, killing and it is kinda shocking. I believe he has a problem within himself that nobody else familiar with.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you know if Giovanni was under the influence of alcohol – did he appear to be drinking when you met him that morning?”

 

Allan Jones

“He still had alcohol on his breath. I was told by other villagers that he was drinking excessively.”

 

Coleman was a wood carver in the village – he would make these pieces to sell to businesses and tourists in the rock-stone pond area. Unconfirmed reports are that he was chopped to death with a machete used for carving. And police say the man who allegedly did it is the same man who alerted the villagers. He is Giovanni Jones, a resident of Lucky Strike. According to police, Coleman was killed because of a domestic incident that happened on his property. The alleged killer is also being accused of rape.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Acting Commissioner of Police

“It emanates from a female where the accused man, Mr. Giovanni Jones, had dropped a female home and after doing so, he was told to leave the home by the female and Mr. Coleman, Mr. Jones refused to leave and ended up in a fist fight with Mr. Coleman. He then walked outside and was followed by Jones where Jones inflicted the fatal chop wounds to him. After doing so, Jones went back inside the house where he had sexual intercourse with the female against her will. That matter is likewise also being investigated.”

 

Coleman’s relatives say that he always had people staying over at his house and that he was killed by these same persons but they don’t understand why.

 

Maureen Bood

Maureen Bood, Niece of the Deceased

“We think it is the same people he had living with him who did that to him. According to people in the village, these are people who live with him. They are always at the house.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Was there a fight? Was there an argument?”

 

Maureen Bood

“Not really. It is very confusing for us because the type of person he was, he was really humble and outgoing. We never ever heard of him getting in trouble with anyone before.”

 

This murder shattered the quiet and peace in Lucky Strike Village on the first day of the New Year – where villagers gathered on street to find out more about this tragic killing. The last time the village saw a murder of this kind was almost ten years ago. Today residents say they still can’t believe that Coleman was brutally killed. They say he was easy-going and friendly, certainly not deserving of such a tragic end.

 

Elsworth Leslie

Elsworth Leslie, Friend of the Deceased

“Up to now, there is emptiness inside of me. I still don’t believe it but I saw it on camera and I don’t like it. Because they did him wrong. He was a wood carver and didn’t mess with anybody. He didn’t deserve that.”

 

Allan Jones

“Howard was a quiet person. He was a handyman who would get things done for you. He would just pop in with lee bit a lies and back off ah you and things like that. So, what happened to Howard is really shocking to me personally.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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