A look at the shooting death of two robbers in Carmelita
Luke Cox and Saul Garcia are dead while Guinea Grass shop owner Edison Johnson is in jail, charged for two counts of murder. The deadly incident occurred on Friday at a remote family farm in Carmelita owned by Johnson. Cox and Garcia were allegedly there to steal items from the farm when they were shot by Johnson. It’s a tragedy all around because Johnson faces possibly years on remand for what many say is just a man defending his life and property. Johnson’s attorney Hubert Elrington told News Five that he is surprised by the charges levied at this client. As we said, the farm is remote, and when we were there on Friday Johnson’s family showed us the bloodstains left on the wall of their home from a watchman who was killed there five years ago by thieves. Elrington says Johnson felt threatened and did what he had to do.
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Hubert Elrington, Attorney for Edison Johnson
“He keeps this farm out here because he is looking at his old age, and as you can see it’s well planted out with coconuts…it has mangos and all kinds of things. He is trying. And then he came in on Friday at ten o’clock and he found the whole of the roof of his house gone, the ceiling almost gone, the furniture gone and from then until about six o’clock he was waiting here for the Police to come cause he called them but they said they could not find the place, because it is kind of remote. And when he was about to leave with his son a vehicle with some men in it came. Some of them had machetes. What happened is not very clear, but he discharged two shots and two men died, and he was taken to the Police Station. He gave the Police a statement. His son who was with him gave the Police a statement. And as far as he was concerned it was his life and his son’s life that was on the line. He didn’t know what their intention was and he didn’t have much help from the Police. He was waiting for the Police but the Police weren’t here when the men came. And about five years ago right here, his watchman was killed and chopped up and they found his watchman about eight days later already decomposed, right here. So he was very much afraid for his life and for the life of his son. A person in Belize is entitled to use force, even to the extent of lethal force, in defence of his property, in defence of himself, or in defence of another. That would be justifiable homicide, so murder would be unjustified homicide. So the law clearly states that if you are on your property and you are under attack, you are not to stand there and allow anybody to kill you or to run rampage on your property, you are to defend it and defend yourself.”
As we’ve mentioned, both Cox and Garcia were well known to the Orange Walk Police. The Johnson family visited their farm every weekend, and when Edison Johnson went there on Friday he found all their possessions gone, including the roof of their home.