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Jun 4, 2004

4 charged with murder in Belmopan stabbing

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Belmopan, a place closer in spirit to a bucolic village than a city, has always been known as a nice quiet community. Well, even though increasing crime laid that myth to rest years ago, it still hurts when we have to report a violent killing in the nation’s capital. News 5′s Patrick Jones reports.

Patrick Jones, Reporting

The blood stained parking lot marks the spot where the early morning brawl came to a violent end when thirty-two year old Allison Castillo was stabbed to death by one of these four men: Russel Hyde, Dennis Hyde, Clifford Hyde, or Delvin Galvez. Lead investigator Sergeant Daniel Arzu says the fight started over a simple request Castillo made to one of the suspects to remove a parked vehicle that was blocking his exit.

Sgt. Daniel Arzu, Lead Investigator

“Mr. Castillo asked Mr. Hyde if he can remove his vehicle so that they can exit the area, but instead Mr. Hyde took offence and approached Castillo and apparently they exchanged some words. Mr. Hyde then leave the vehicle, went to his vehicle, and brought along three other persons who then attacked Castillo.”

The attack is the second violent incident at Club Déjà Vu, the only licensed discotheque in Belmopan. And while the police quickly apprehended the men they believe are responsible for the brutal murder, the issue of establishments staying open beyond their licensed time is now the focus of much discussion in the nation?s capital.

Patrick Jones

“The law does not prescribe a set procedure for obtaining a special license. When John Wade got an extension that allowed him to be open past two o’clock this morning, he was expected to deposit a copy of that license at the Belmopan police station. News 5 understands, however, that the police were not aware that club Déjà Vu was operating under special license at four o?clock this morning.”

Sgt. Daniel Arzu

“As a matter of fact, we?ve been having problems with that nightclub in question. You see they would be given extensions and the officer in charge of the station itself do not endorse the extension itself. They do not come to the station, in other words for us to sign and acknowledge the extension whereby police could be posted at the location. Now this is repeatedly happening, I am sure that the Officer Commanding, Mr. Alvarez, has addressed the matter with the City Council. But up to now, we’re still having the problem. In regards this incident, itself, we learnt that Déjà Vu nightclub was issued with an extension until four in the morning and we were not informed.”

That breakdown in communication between the Belmopan Liquor Licensing Board and the police has Mayor Anthony Chanona concerned. At an early afternoon meeting at City Hall, Chanona made recommendations to the Board intended to nip such violence in the bud.

Anthony Chanona, Belmopan Mayor

“We are in discussion right now as we speak with the Chairman of the Belmopan Liquor Licensing Board and other members of the board, the Police Department. We will be suggesting otherwise that until this area is totally reviewed that no extensions be granted to Déjà Vu until we have been able to do a complete analysis of that business operating in Belmopan.”

“We’re also mindful that the young population at times want to recreate, but we know that the hours of three, four in the morning bring undue pressure on the police. And have been in consultation with the Liquor Licensing Board to ensure that there is some consultation, discussions with the police to ensure that these incidents can be held to a minimum.”

It’s the second incident of violence involving party goers at this relatively new area of Belmopan this year. Chanona says the City Council will undertake a full review of its trade license and Club Déjà Vu will be under strict scrutiny in the coming weeks. In the meantime, all four young men have been booked on charges of murder and abetment to murder. Patrick Jones, for News 5.

All four suspects have been remanded to the Hattieville Prison. Mayor Chanona says that the results of this afternoon’s consultation with the Belmopan Liquor Licensing Board and other proposed changes to city laws will be discussed at a town meeting scheduled for June seventeenth at the Belmopan Civic Centre. In related news, the death of Allison Castillo also had some tragic repercussions. Joyce McKoy, Castillo’s aunt, also died this morning–reportedly of a heart attack–after she received the news that he had been killed. No arrangements for either funeral have been finalized.

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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