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Apr 12, 2005

Three charged in U.S. resident’s murder

Story PictureIt was a murder that shocked the close-knit towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena… but exactly one month after the body of U.S. national Donald Kostecki was found shot to death outside his home, three men have been charged for the brutal crime. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods was on hand for the arraignment.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
San Ignacio police strongly believe nineteen year old Louis Carlos Lopez, twenty-one year old Anwar Awe, and twenty-nine year old Albino Briceño are the three Belizean young men who shot and killed sixty-three year old Donald Kostecki, a deacon at Sacred Heart Church. The suspects, who all reside in San Ignacio, were taken into custody Monday morning after someone tipped off police.

Supt. Gilroy Nicholas, O.C. San Ignacio Police
?That is why we did a proactive investigation into this matter. We did a detailed investigation. I am quite satisfied that these are the people who killed Mr. Kostecki.?

At Briceño’s home, police not only recovered clothing stained with what they believe to be the victim’s blood, but Kostecki’s cell phone as well. This 410 shotgun, usually used for bird hunting, is believed to be the murder weapon. Kostecki was shot as he was about to leave his residence around eight a.m. on March twelfth.

Supt. Gilroy Nicholas
?They put the weapon at his left arm, apparently the gun went off and it penetrated his arm straight into the left side of his body and it penetrated his heart, and that?s what killed him. Our investigation shows that he was seated inside of the vehicle and after that, it seems that he opened the door and we found him outside of the vehicle on his face.?

Lopez, Awe, and Briceño have not only been charged with Kostecki’s murder, but while in custody the men allegedly confessed to a series of robberies in which tourists were held up along the Macal River in at least seven different incidents between 2004 and 2005.

Supt. Gilroy Nicholas
?And they have confessed that they are the ones who have been doing it, and they are the ones who have been pestering around here in San Ignacio. I took long, but it was worth the while and today is a very happy day for the San Ignacio Department and the Police Department on a whole.?

Superintendent Gilroy Nicholas says if it was not for the cooperation of one individual he does not believe they would have been able to solve the Kostecki case just one month after he was murdered.

Supt. Gilroy Nicholas
?I again would just like to say thank you to my good informant, and we need them. We need more people like that inside of the community and in the country as a whole, because it shows that the community and police are really working together. We cannot bring back Mr. Kostecki?s life, but what I can assure them is that justice will be served.?

Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

Lopez, Awe, and Briceño have been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. The three suspects will also be charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. They have been remanded to Hattieville Prison pending their next appearance in court. The San Ignacio Crime Committee will be meeting to discuss a possible reward for the person who aided in the capture of the three suspects.

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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