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May 25, 2004

Hard words lead to death of watchman

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A watchman is dead and his employer wounded in what can only be described as a bizarre incident in the nation’s capital. Today I visited the scene.

Corina Godinez, Daughter of the Deceased

“It hurt we because he dah the head ah fu we home.”

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

The family of fifty-five year old Manuel De Jesus Godinez is still in shock after their loved one was found dead on this construction compound in the Industrial Zone in Belmopan just after nine-thirty on Saturday night. Godinez had worked as a watchman at the site for almost a year, but according to his employer, forty-five year old Karim Adle Senior, on Saturday night their agreement came to a violent end.

Adle, his wife, child, and brother-in-law had come to the site to pick up another vehicle. The businessman got out to talk to the armed guard, but during the conversation, the watchman got angry, cursing in Spanish and threatening his boss. Adle decided to walk away, but seconds later, his wife screamed that the watchman going to shoot him.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez, Investigating Officer

“Karim Adle Senior was shot in his lower of his back and his right arm was also shot. Also his wife, Mrs. Miriam Adle, was injured in that same incident because she got out of the vehicle telling her husband, be careful before this man shoot you while he was walking away from Mr. Godinez.”

From a distance of less than five yards, Godinez fired the pump action twelve-gauge shotgun three times. Hundreds of pellets hit Adle in his lower back and arm, and Adle’s wife was struck in her arm. At this point, Adle’s brother-in-law, twenty-five year old Emil Novelo, took out his licensed thirty-eight calibre pistol and pulled the trigger repeatedly. Godinez fell behind this tractor and died within minutes. Adle maintains he had never had a confrontation with Godinez and would never have turned his back on an armed violent man.

But the Godinez family maintains that their father was annoyed about money matters.

Corina Godinez

“Meaning that he would work overtime and they no wah pay ah you know. They would come, and when I seh they woulda bring gossip and thing, and maybe go tell Mr. Karim something and he would come like bembe (confrontationally) and just come di treat Daddy like a little kid and he made mention to us that this would be fu he last week, which da today he me ah stop.”

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez

“We are not calling it a murder; we are just doing a thorough investigation into this matter. After the investigation has been completed, the file will be sent to the D.P.P. for his directive.”

This afternoon, police pathologists arrived at the Belmopan morgue to conduct a post-mortem examination on the body of Manuel Godinez. The results will reveal whether or not the deceased was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident. Police say they will work quickly to put an end all speculations surrounding the crime.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez

“This is the first type of incident happening in Belmopan City for the year 2004, and we are taking it very seriously and we are looking at all direction because at the end of the day I want the deceased’s family to be comfortable along with the Adle family because we need to get bottom of this incident, what transpired this incident.”

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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