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Oct 10, 2017

The two lives of murder victim Justin Hyde

The City’s second murder victim is twenty-two year old Justin Hyde. On Monday night he was riding with two friends on separate bicycles not far from his home on Curl Thompson Street when according to police, near the corner with Levi Slusher Street, several gunshots were heard and Hyde was hit to the back and rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. He passed almost an hour later while undergoing surgery. Hyde was well-known to authorities and faced a battery of charges for two high-profile incidents. But Hyde’s family and friends say he was seeking to make a change in his life, through music. He would not get the chance, as Aaron Humes reports.


Aaron Humes, Reporting

The late Justin Hyde packed much into his twenty-two years of life. A father of four very young children and an S.J.C. graduate, he had at one point taken the course for entry into the Belize Police Department, following the footsteps of two older brothers, one in the department and the other in the Belize Defence Force. More recently he decided to pursue a career in music, and hung out with a collective of young musicians from Southside Belize City. But his past came back to claim his life on Sunday evening.


Dwight "Prophet" Brown

Dwight “Prophet” Brown, Friend of Deceased

“We were in the studio, me and T.Y., last night – and then T.Y. left, because he had to go deal with some stuff, so I was still in the studio getting some work done. And I got a call from T.Y. saying, “Yo, they just called me and told me Ethdan get shot!” So I was like, damn! But he said he was talking and everything, so we thought it wasn’t serious. And then I get a call back later from T.Y. again, “tripping” and crying hysterically, saying, “Yo, they called me and said he died,” and I was like, “What?” But he was talking and all of that. So we thought it was something slight but it turned out to be more serious than what we heard initially.”


Hyde, also known by his stage name “Ethdan,” was shot once to the lower back. Members of his family, who declined to appear on camera, confirmed that the bullet caused an internal hemorrhage to which he succumbed approximately an hour after the incident. Hyde was no stranger to the law, but despite his criminal associations, Brown told us that he was seriously trying to make a change, and that he never spoke of his personal problems in the studio.


Dwight “Prophet” Brown

“A lot of people identify with his music, because he really spoke the truth – the real, he spoke what he was living, what happens in his community, the things that he sees every day. So a lot of people could relate to it, because that’s what they see at the same time. He had his problems with the other part of his life, but as the artist, it was a beautiful thing when you were in the studio with him, to see the excitement, just the joy of making music. And he was really trying to make a change, but there are not opportunities out there for the artist to display and show people that they have talent, where they could possibly earn some income from their music – there’s no platforms. But he was just trying to just make a positive change and make new music and try to get away from all the negativity surrounding his name and all the bad stuff he’s been through. He tried to do something different but you can’t run from life. There’s a separation – like when he’s with us, he’s the artist, he’s Ethdan. We don’t judge nobody for circumstances that they can change themselves. When he’s with us he’s the artist, he’s just a dude that’s out here trying to make power moves to try to get themselves on, to try to make it out.”


Hyde’s family asserts that because of these unwelcome associations, his was often the first name called when trouble happened in his neighborhood. And while “Ethdan” is no more, “Prophet” called on authorities to make a move to prevent future incidents – investing in entertainment and the arts, which has seen a recent rise in local talent emerging.


Dwight “Prophet” Brown

“Me and my team, we never been the type to ask for nothing or talk to Government people about nothing, we the type been trying to do it on our own. But I think it’s about time that there is something done on the part of Government to put something in place for artists, to give them opportunities, platforms to showcase their talents, so that things like this don’t happen. If you’ve been paying attention, there’s a track record that it’s been working – we have ‘King Cosa’  that blew up; we have Dajah that’s the hottest artist right now and she’s another artist that comes from a bad situation but that is full of talent, that just needs a little guidance, assistance to help them. There’s T.Y. again – that’s another troubled youth; him and Ethdan are cousins, they come from the same life that’s also done better for himself. There’s a record to show that this works if somebody would help augment the growth of the music industry that we have here.”


Aaron Humes reporting 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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