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Sep 7, 2005

Arrests galore in three recent murders

Story PicturePolice have made more arrests today in connection with several weekend homicides. While the authorities have already fingered Leroy Henry as the triggerman in the Jason Hill murder, tonight they have charged a second man with murder: eighteen year old Erwin James. During a press briefing at the Queen Street police station this afternoon, authorities said James was the cyclist that collided with Hill last Friday night and, under the joint enterprise concept enshrined in Belize’s criminal code, he can face the same charge as the man who pulled the trigger.

Meanwhile, in Sunday night’s fatal shooting of twenty-seven year old Sherwin Requeña, police have arrested and filed charges against six men. Seventeen-year-old Edward Lord and twenty-one year old Evan Neal have been jointly charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Neal and Lord will also answer to the charges of attempted murder and dangerous harm for injuries caused to Requeña’s neighbour, Dona Magdaleno Cayetano, during the same incident. Authorities tell News Five that investigations have also led to a charge of abetment to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder against twenty-seven year old Darren Banks. Conspiracy indictments have also been filed against eighteen-year-old Joel Bishop, nineteen year old Joseph Bishop and sixteen year old Kareem Gotoy. This afternoon Head of the Criminal Investigations Branch, Assistant Superintendent Chester Williams, maintained to the press that despite the number of arrests, neither case is gang-related.

A.S.P. Chester Williams, Officer Commanding, C.I.B.
“We do not believe in statistical arrests. I am not the judge or the jurors of the Supreme Court, but I can assure the public that the evidence that we have is overwhelming evidence that you could put before a court with jurors and I’m certain we can get convictions.”

“From our investigations in connection with these incidents, there is no relation to both crimes, they are separate incidents. The investigation does not have anything to show that both were connected in any way, shape, or form. The motive per se in connection with the Friday night shooting, it was just simply that Hill was riding the bicycle, collided with a youngster and it caused a little argument and as a result of that, he was fatally shot. In connection with the one on Sunday night, again we don’t have any motive to say that these shootings were gang related, none at all. But rather, as was mentioned previously in another interview, it is just people who want to be following people, going on other people’s instructions to go and commit crimes.”

“From our investigations, there is no high powered gun involved in either of the murders. The murder that took place on Friday night, we believe the weapon of choice was a point thirty-eight revolver and on Sunday night, the weapon of choice was a nine millimetre handgun.”

“We have been doing campaigns to remove guns off the streets, but it is highly impossible that the police would be able to remove all the guns off the streets. We have the information, the 911, the 922 programmes which has been very helpful to us in removing guns off the streets, but some of them will surely pass through the little cracks and we will always find guns in the streets but we continue to do our utmost best to remove as much guns as possible from off the streets.”

This afternoon Williams credited much improved community relations for the quick police work in both cases. Court reports today indicate that the six men charged in the Requeña murder have been remanded to Hattieville Prison but are scheduled to reappear on the twenty-first of October. Leroy Henry and Erwin James, charged in the Hill murder, have also been remanded but will be back in the lower court on the fifteenth of September.

In an update to the Sunday night killing of fifty-eight year old Francisco Cartagena in Caledonia Village, Corozal police have arrested and charged thirty-two year old Carlos Humberto Ordoñez and forty-three year old Augustine Acosta with murder. Cartagena’s body was found early Monday morning with chop wounds to the head and body. Subsequent investigations reveal that he had been drinking with friends when the socializing turned into a deadly argument.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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