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Feb 28, 2006

Three murders in one night rock Belize City

Story PictureIt’s the eve of an important election and as one hundred fifty-four candidates work late into the night in search of that last handful of votes, we in the media should be hot on their trail. But as often happens, events sometimes intervene, in this case three murders that took place in Belize City, likely within a few hours of each other. The first, according to police, occurred around nine-thirty P.M. News Five’s Jacqueline Woods has the story.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Twenty-five year old Lionel Gabb, better known as Tubbs, was sitting on this small wooden veranda socialising with friends when it is reported he got into an argument with two of the building?s residents: Kermit Meighan and Meighan?s common-law wife, Denise. It was during the heated exchange of words that Meighan stabbed Gabb. Today family and friends say they knew that both men had a misunderstanding six months ago, but that the argument appeared to have been settled … that is until Monday night.

Simon Obispo, Cousin of the Deceased
?We just di relax and they just noh like see dat and thing and they just start to trip pan di man. They hold their knife and thing, I di try mek they know, unu hold down dem vibes deh, and like they just noh wah hold it down. It ease fi a while and we come out like we look fi go and they just start wah scenery again and he just follow them up behind di yard and right deh so it just blaze off. The girl grab he and thing, the girl grab he inna his shirt and thing and he just di hold they and he try mek ih let go ah and thing and like she no wah leggo, she just got ah. And then fi she bwai come out and di trip and thing, and say, ?Bwai you di mess with my gyal, you di mess with my gyal.? He come out with knife and just shub it pan ah.?

Gabb, bleeding profusely from his stab wounds, tried to walk away from the scene but collapsed several yards away on the street. According to Gabb?s uncle, George Carr, a police constable, he was home sleeping when he was awakened by a neighbour telling him that someone was trying to kill his nephew. Carr says he arrived just in time to get help for his relative, grab the suspect, and retrieve the bloody murder weapon that he says was nine inches long.

George Carr, Uncle of the Deceased
?We locate the knife about six feet, ten inches to be exact from the house side to where I found the knife, right there. The same butcher knife. Then I hand it over to one of the personnel.?

?Apparently the blade was about five inches, the blade itself. The board handle, apparently it got wah vanish finish. The handle itself, from the point to where the blood stop is about two inches; so apparently about two inches gone into the guy.?

Meighan and Denise apparently rented one of the rooms inside the house. The building is owned by Gabb?s family. Carr says the only reason he believes his nephew was at the residence is because he thought things had cooled off between the two men.

George Carr
?That old beef was already settled, because they do talk prior to that, they do talk. And then at the point in time everybody mi feel like things just calm down, but it erupt last night.?

Police say Meighan has told them that Gabb grabbed Denise?s arm and when he intervened, Gabb picked up a bottle, broke it and cut him across the head. A struggle ensued and that?s when Meighan picked up a kitchen knife and stabbed Gabb once to the right side of his chest.

Ionie Usher, Mother of the Deceased
?Well I just woulda want justice noh, just woulda want justice, cause I mean it was too simple of a argument fi cost my son life, you know. Wah simple argument.?

Following the stabbing, a number of irate neighbours attacked Meighan beating him with bats and their bicycles. The group also took their anger out on Meighan?s front door, breaking it and the lock. Meighan?s mother, who did not wish to appear on camera, explains why she believes her son should not be held responsible for Gabb?s death.

Kermit Meighan?s Mother
?No ma?am, my son is always at home from after eight. He doesn?t even have friends, because he have been stab already and have a cut from here to here. So he?s say he don?t like trouble. They are not the kind of boys that hang on the street, you know, and give a lot of trouble. This is surprise by everybody.?

Today, Meighan was formally arraigned in Magistrate Court for the murder. Jacqueline Woods reporting for News Five.

Police had little chance to rest as within a few hours the homicide squad received another call.

Russel Lainfiesta, Brother of the Deceased
?Well so far from the information we get from the Police Department, they have no motive and no suspect as yet, so we?re clueless right now.?

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
But around midnight on Monday night someone inflicted a single stab wound in the back of forty-one year old Gregory Lainfiesta. Lainfiesta?s body was found lying in the middle of Daly Street near the intersection with Queen Street.

Russel Lainfiesta
?Most of his friends know him from Baracodia?s football; he was very involved in football and he helped the community around that areas with whatever helped they needed.?

Today the police say they are very concerned that in just one night three persons were killed in Belize City.

G. Michael Reid, Police Press Officer
?Interesting enough, none of these murders were committed with firearms, so that is basically saying something there, that we might indeed be addressing the firearm problem. But then it goes to passions, and it is difficult to address crimes of passion. In particular when individuals have misunderstandings amongst themselves and one individual just at the spur of the moment picks up a weapon. Sometimes it?s not intentional, but it occurs and it?s a murder no less. So certainly the police are concerned and every effort is being made to address the problems, when they occur, quickly; but to also to appeal to the people to resolve their conflict in a more rational way.?

Police say they do not have a suspect or motive.

Meanwhile, authorities continue to look for the person who killed, well known basketball great Frankie Flowers better known as ?Fade Away?.

G. Michael Reid
?Sometime shortly before six this morning police received a report. Apparently an individual was jogging along the area on the Marine Parade when he came upon the obvious lifeless body of a male person. This person is believed to be in his forties, early forties. He was bald, well dressed, and obvious signs of violence, so the police do suspect foul play.?

Jacqueline Woods
?When you say obvious signs of violence, what are you talking about??

G. Michael Reid
?There were apparent bruises over the body?

Once again police say they?re looking for clues. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

Unconfirmed reports to News Five suggest that the murders of Lainfiesta and Flowers may be related as people close to the investigation indicate that the two were seen together earlier in the evening.

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