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Mar 17, 2016

A Brazen Murder at the Yarborough Green

Godfrey Hemsley

A late evening press conference convened by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, upon his return from a meeting at the O.A.S. in Washington, has just concluded.  The brief was held to update the media on a round of discussions between Belize and Guatemala in respect of the ongoing territorial dispute.  We’ll have more on that story a little later in tonight’s newscast, but first we turn to yet another murder that has rocked Belize City.  On Wednesday night, there was yet another homicide on the streets of the Old Capital. A thirty-one year old resident of Cemetery Lane was gunned down on a basketball court in the Yarborough Community. It’s the third murder in four days on south side Belize City and News Five’s Duane Moody went looking for answers in this latest killing. Here’s his report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Just before eight on Wednesday night, shots rang out in the Yarborough Community near the basketball court adjacent to Wesley College. When the echoes subsided, thirty-one-year-old Godfrey Hemsley had been left for dead; he was hit multiple times from behind as he sat on the bleachers having just finished a game between two groups on the court.


Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“When the police arrived, they saw Godfrey Hemsley suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to the K.H.M.H. where he was listed in a critical condition and subsequently he succumbed to his injuries. The information we obtained so far is that two gun-toddlers approached him while he was at the basketball court associating with some friends and they fired multiple shots at him which eventually resulted in his demise.”


Both a football game and a basketball match were ongoing and the well-lit area was abuzz with onlookers and residents when the murder took place. It was a brazen killing…residents say that two shameless teenage boys carried out the crime. As one stood near the dilapidated police booth near the Yarborough green on watch, another rode up on a bicycle barefaced with a gun and opened fire on Hemsley.


Voice of: Monica Ellis, Common-law Wife of Murder Victim

“I was inside making tea and I heard gunshots so I ran out and when I ran out, they told me that it was Godfrey. So I ran towards the court and when I ran towards the court, I noticed that it was him on the bleachers. A little while after, police mobile came, took him to the hospital and short while after, he passed. He never made it.”


Duane Moody

“What do you understand happened? Was he alone at the time when this incident happened?”

Voice of: Monica Ellis

“Game mi di…basketball was playing, football was playing. And he just played about five game so he was just resting to go back on the court and two gunman came from behind and just shot at him.”


The gunman and his accomplice then fled the scene across the Yarborough Bridge and into South Side Gang territory, leaving the bicycle behind. Police say that the motive of the crime appears to be that of gang rivalry.


ACP Chester Williams

“We are looking for those two toddlers—I say gun toddlers Duane because these are young people again. You know we have this tendency of wanting to call them gunmen. When we call them gunmen, we make them seem to be bigger than what they are. They are not gunmen; they are little boys, they are toddlers. We are looking for them in relation to that matter that took place last night. The information that we receive is that one is fifteen and the other is either sixteen or seventeen years old. It would appear to be gang related.”


Duane Moody

“Which gangs? Is it rivals or infighting within a particular gang?”


ACP Chester Williams

“It is two different gangs.”


Duane Moody

“Are these groups that you’ve been dealing with in your interventions that you’ve been dealing with?”


ACP Chester Williams

“No, no. The persons involved have not been a part of our intervention programs.”


Hemsley was killed less than a hundred yards from where he lived with his family and wasn’t known to have enemies. Even more heart-wrenching is that one of the minors involved in the callous crime is actually considered a friend to the family.


Voice of: Monica Ellis

“Life of the party; that all I could say. He was a very, very energetic person; loves to dance, music. Always keep a smile on everyone’s face. Everyone knows when God di come around cause he di come with a lot of noise. He was a very sweet person. I will always be grateful for him though. Right now I just lost for words. I just di try understand the whole situation. I still noh di get it. I have to focus on him right now. Whatever the law has to do, they need to do what they have to do. I just wah left it ina God’s hands because they wah get lash fi weh dehn do and the Father noh sleep.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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3 Responses for “A Brazen Murder at the Yarborough Green”

  1. Rod says:

    Here we go again wake up wake up unu duncy belizeans now we are at 5657 murders in Belize and counting you might be next unu Betta march on this useless incompetent pm and gov.

  2. Jason says:

    See why they should have concerts in this park instead- it will reduce killings if they are singing and dancing and they will only have a short time to shoot the people later when they are going home a short distance away

  3. Moses says:

    The killings are a result of several factors, economic, social, political, poverty, family, single mothers, absent fathers, lack of jobs, corruption, and plain old Belize life, hustle, a breeding ground for criminal activity. BTW toddlers are 5 years and below.

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