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Dec 31, 2012

Murder count at 145; lovers’ murder and suicide

James Staine & Carlita Cina Williams

The victim, Brandon Cabanas was twenty-three years old, and his brother the murder suspect Edward Cabanas is twenty years old. Though only one brother survived the dispute, his life will never be the same. The other two deceased individuals are twenty-one and twenty-four years old, in the same range as the Cabanas brothers. Their case is nothing like the ill fated lovers that William Shakespeare wrote about in his play Romeo and Juliet. The death of the young couple in Punta Gorda has several families preparing for burial rather than the celebration of the renewal of the yearly cycle. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports from the Southern Highway.


Stephanie Locario, Best Friend of Carlita Williams

“Three weeks ago he bought her an engagement ring and he gave it to her and she refused and from ever since she did that was when the relationship got really more tied up in the situation of abuse.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The crimsoned, concrete bench beneath a thatched shed, overlooking the expanse of the Caribbean Sea, rinsed by the brother-in-law and friends of twenty-one year old Carlita Cina Williams, is the sight of two fatal shootings.  Sometime around eight o’clock on Sunday night twenty-four year old James Staine, his girlfriend and their two year-old son were seated at the beachfront when he took aim at her with a licensed firearm.


Voice of: Cattle Landing Resident

“We were inside cooking and I heard, two times I heard a sound like pop shot and we didn’t really respond to it because it was happening regularly because of the season.  And then suddenly I heard a crying coming from a distance so I stood and listened for a while and then I decided to come outside.  When I opened the door and I stepped outside I saw a lady coming screaming and a young man [coming] behind and she was saying, “My baby! My baby is dead!”


Carlita had been shot once to the head; her toddler the only witness to the grisly murder.  Next, James would turn the gun on himself.  He pulled the trigger a second time.


Ernel Dominguez

Inspector Ernel Dominguez, Officer Commanding Punta Gorda Police Formation

“Initial investigation revealed [that] both persons were under the shed when two gunshots were heard by a neighbor in the immediate area and, upon making checks, both bodies were found.  It is alleged that Staine, who is the boyfriend of Carlita and also has a child which is two years-old of age, shot Carlita and thereafter shot himself.  Carlita received gunshot injuries to the right side of her head while Staine received gunshot injury under the chin.  Further investigation revealed that Staine and his girlfriend had a misunderstanding on December 29th, 2012 which may have led to the incident.”


From the perspective of family and friends, Carlita was involved in a tumultuous relationship, one in which she was often threatened and physically abused by her boyfriend.  It’s a tale of jealousy and rage that has been told repeatedly.


Stephanie Locario

Stephanie Locario

“She was in a very controlling relationship but it was very hard to tell because she always pretended like nothing was happening.  And for a while she was always hiding it but we became very close and she started to tell me what was going on in her relationship and she was going through a lot.”


So much so that it is alleged that Williams was once held captive for two days by her overprotective boyfriend.  Carlita’s demise, according to her confidant, was foretold.


Stephanie Locario

Carlita Cina Williams

“She began to complain to me a lot about the relationship to a point that she told me, “ I need to end the relationship because it’s going too far and he threatened me a lot that he’s going to kill my mom and dad.  He’s going to kill me, the baby, and he’s going to kill himself.”  And she said that’s the reason why I can’t leave James just like that because I know he will do it.  So that’s the reason why he got away with a lot of things because he had her under that power of control.”


James’ mother, Michelle Swasey, spoke with News Five from her home in Belize City.


Michelle Swasey

Michelle Swasey, Mother of James Staine

“I just get the message last night between nine-thirty and ten saying that James kill himself and shoot his girlfriend. That’s what I get so far. I don’t know really what happen. I spoke to Cina’s mom and she told me like I think two days ago, they had argument and quarrel and some misunderstanding and my son told them something like he will slap Cina or hit her and Cina’s mom got in and told him that he would not do it there or something to that effect. So that’s all I get so far. I never expect it fi go dat far. I know—I’m not swearing for my son, I’m not saying my son is perfect but I know he mi love Cina and Cina mi love him and he mi love his kid. So I don’t really know exactly what triggered him to kill her and to kill himself. I’m sad and I sympathize with Cina’s mom because Cina was my daughter-in-law and she was a loving person and she was always welcomed at my home.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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12 Responses for “Murder count at 145; lovers’ murder and suicide”

  1. Retired CEO says:

    As usual Mothers always seem to be in denial when it comes to their son’s violent, cruel and unusual behavior. Belize has certainly earned the name murder capital of the World. It appears that everyone is set in their way in terms of wanting to have things their way. ” If I can’t have you no one else will “. Everyone appears to be so bad and desparate to kill some one. How could anyone say they love some one when in fact they are doing everything to harm, control, hurt or kill their so-called lover/significant other. Love is kind not blind, love is tolerant not controlling. Love is caring not harming and hurting another. Love is meek,mild and creates humbleness in the heart, not violence. We pray for the blessings and guidance of the Almighty Creator, for our leaders and that he may bestow his grace and infinite wisdom, knowledge and understanding upon all Belizeans as we begin this blessed year 2013. We pray that our people will rise up against corruption, violence and all the insanity that is plaguing our beloved homeland. We asked for mercy and forgivenss for all those who have inflicted hurt/harm against self and others. May the peace and blessings of the Almighty Creator be with all of us throughout 2013 and forever, Amen. Happy New Year Belize!

  2. Bear says:

    I’m with Retired CEO’s thoughts.

    This tragedy offers hard lessons that all young Belizeans should take to heart. Getting pregnant is not a casual thing, it WILL change a girl’s life forever — and staying in a twisted relationship is like playing Russian Roulette, you never know when you will pay with your life.

    We definitely need better procedures and more resources to protect people from threatening and abusive former and current partners. Maybe for 2013, some civic group and some representatives who care could work together on this daily problem of life in the Jewel. Who knows, maybe they can save some lives along the way.

  3. Toledo Villager says:

    Over the past couple of years complaints and reports have been lodged to the PG Police on this guy by village leaders, especially from the area where Monsanto claims to own lands. He has pulled guns on men, women and children in Maya villages to intimidate them. He clearly has a problem with guns and as recent as 4 months another report was made to the PG police but as usual strings are pulled and the police did nothing about this. I have been made aware that there are documents of these reports that the police never acted on and heed the warning. Now it has cost two lives…

  4. TheStoryteller says:

    Sadly, things like this happen in Belize because there is no place to turn for help , no one intervenes, no help for those suffering from mental illness, no help for the abused. It seems that as a people we tend to turn a blind eye to matters such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, suicide, depression, personality disorders etc, simply because as Belizeans we are taught that if we don’t understand something it’s best not to bother with it. We are taught that if something is too taboo in our eyes that means it can’t happen here, not in our Belize, but we are sadly mistaken because obviously these things do happen here. I bet each and every single one of us knows at least one person who has been molested, no one says anything, each and every single one of us knows at least one person who is in an abusive relationship, no one says anything, each and every one of us knows someone who is battling depression , anger issues or mental illness, no one says anything, no one helps… Sometimes these things can’t be avoided, but sometimes all that is needed is for someone to say something, someone to help, someone to intervene before it is too late. This is truly tragic. The innocent child of this couple will be traumatized forever my only hope and wish is that someone says something this time and I hope this child receives the counselling he will desperately need. We need to break the cycle, we need to open our eyes and realize that these things happen and they happen in Belize too and all we need is someone to say something. Belizeans, we need to talk more we need to talk about our feelings we need to know when to seek help and most of all we need places where people can seek refuge without feeling ridiculed. Perhaps if this young woman had somewhere to turn , a domestic violence hotline to call, a police officer to turn to who wouldn’t ridicule her for reporting that her boyfriend was beating her, perhaps if there was help somewhere somehow she would still be alive today. My deepest condolences to the families of these individuals.

  5. Buju says:

    The problem in Belize that there are too many beautiful women!

    Too much beautiful women so that jackasses like this guy will end up with one of them and still not being grateful complicates the story by treating her like !@#$!!!!

    We need to come together as a country and protect and care for our women and children.

    Because of the actions by this jealous, controlling !@#$ this beautiful woman is dead and their child will suffer and have to live with the ill effects of this for the rest of his life.

    The manly thing to have done was to walk away and start over. If he truly loved this woman he would have been able to see her happy even if it was not with him.

    I have an ex who terrorized me as well but men like myself won’t report it. She did everything in this world to me but at the end of the day i still cant have ill feelings towards her. Im just glad i don’t have to put up with her foolishness again.

    Condolences goes out the the family and prayers are with the baby!

  6. Storm says:

    Sad but true, Storyteller.

  7. Julian says:

    I have read all the responses and I noticed a sad thing, everyone is judgmental, they forget that they too make mistakes and do not know the answer to their problem and not a mention about God.

    In the Holly Bible there is a story of a woman brought to Jesus who was caught in prostitution. They told Jesus that in the law of Moses this woman should be put to death by stoning. They came to Jesus for his opinion, but Jesus has the answer they never expected. He looked at them and said to them, ” which of you is without sin cast the first stone”. They looked at each other and realized that they too are all sinners. They were ashamed because apparently all of them had stones in their hands ready to kill this woman. The Holy Bible says that the older ones dropped their stones and left one by one, then the younger ones followed. Jesus then said to the woman “neither me will condemn you, your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”. can you imagine how grateful this woman felt.

    My point is that we are ready to throw stones at each other and we don’t even know what the problem is. We cant because we don’t have God in us. Jesus have all the answer to all our many problems in this country my friends, but no one expect answer from him. The Holy Bible also says ” Lean not on your own understanding”, but we are busy doing the opposite all the time. If you want to make a change, start with yourself, look to Jesus for answer, not only when you are in trouble either, and you will be surprised.

    No amount of rehabilitation program, social program, Police program can help anyone. They themselves need help. Until the leaders and citizens of this country of ours begin to acknowledge the sovereignty of the almighty God, only then we can see changes.

    If you doubt me then you should read the story about the shootings in the High Schools and Elementary schools in the United States of America and ask why that is happening. They have removed Prayer from the schools. In other words they have removed God from the schools.

    The Holy Bible quotations can be found in the book John chapter 8 verses 1….., may God bless.

  8. angel WILLIAMS says:


  9. Illuminati says:

    A nation of weak and selfish people, so indoctrinated and programed to embrace the values of what they see on t.v. Alcohol and other types of drug abuse is playing a significant role in all these senseless crimes we are seeing, the utter deterioration of a moral, caring and compassionate society, to one of selfishness, weakness of the mind and for the flesh, instant gratification and more than willing to harm another when he/she does not get his/her way.

  10. Illuminati says:

    Please stop about murder capital of the world. Most Belizeans can’t even look past the local media and realize that right here in the Caribbean many of the countries are seeing crime spiraling out of control, where countries like Trinidad are always right on the edge of martial law.

    When Belizeans start boycotting the alcohol companies and start fighting against the parasites called drug dealers out of their communities, even if it is their own flesh and blood, we will never see this senseless types of murders go away. Look at the land of the great ol USA, the land of 1 million murders in 80 years, yet they come to Belize with all their sick twisted values and we gobble it up like they are Gods themselves by worshiping their money and their materialistic values, void of all moral values.

    We need to put in place serious background checks on the people coming to this country to live and ship them back to wherever they come from the minute they slip. Our culture, our identity our values are being lost because of all the decay and inept people we are letting into this country.

  11. Virginia says:

    Remembering Cina keena Willams….A beautiful light has been snuff out on the last days of 2012, Despite all attempts to stop her light from shinning and dulling her spirits, she touch so many with her smile that never quit, she was a mother, a daughter, sister and a dear friend that I had the previlage to spend time with. Make no mistake her light still shine on in the presence of her Lord and in all those whos lives she touch. we will meet again in glory at his return

  12. PGKooliegial says:

    It’s it so sad to see & hear about how we young women live in abusive relationships. We tend to believe this is the rite way to live and hide what we are going thru rom our families . which is sad because speaking out and taking contol of our lives can save us.

    Maybe this young lady was speaking with the wrong person as her friend is a party person and lives a fast life! Maybe being friend with this person was a contributing factor to her problems????

    So sad it had to reach this point!

    Condolences to both families!

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