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Jan 2, 2003

Policeman and his 2 brothers charged with murder

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Tonight, a police officer is behind bars at the Hattieville Correctional Facility, charged with murder. Twenty-six year old Police Constable Kevin “Cowboy” Alvarez and his two brothers: eighteen year old Jason Allen Hernandez and twenty-one year old Apolonio Anthony Hernandez appeared before Magistrate Dorothy Flowers to answer to charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Police say the brothers were in the area of the Friendship Restaurant at mile two and a half on the Northern Highway around ten-thirty Monday night when thirty-two year old Albert Pennil was shot in the head by a lone gunman. Alvarez’s vehicle was spotted in the area, and within hours he was detained for questioning. Alvarez joined the force in 1996, but was discharged in 2001 after a series of complaints from the public about his behaviour. But late in 2002, he was reinstated to his post and assigned to the Dragon Unit in Belmopan. This afternoon Police Press Officer, G. Michael Reid told News 5 how Alvarez got his job back.

G. Michael Reid, Police Press Officer

“Mr. Alvarez was discharged from the Police Department in November 2001. He appealed to the Advisory Council, who decided that maybe there wasn’t enough grounds to dismiss Alvarez. He was then reinstated on the advice of the Advisory Council. And so it was not a decision by the Police Department to reinstate Mr. Alvarez. The department had gotten several complaints, but I imagine that the Advisory Council did not think that there was enough grounds to dismiss the gentleman from the job.”

Janelle Chanona

“How is the department looking at this damaging the reputation of the Police Department, arresting one of its own for murder?”

G. Michael Reid

“Well it must be noted that Mr. Alvarez was not on duty at the time and certainly was not in any official way acting as a police officer.”

Janelle Chanona

“But you are a police officer whether you’re in a uniform or not right?”

G. Michael Reid

“That is correct. The fact is that they are still human beings, and from time to time you will find one or two will fall through the cracks. I think it speaks volumes for the department in that we didn’t hesitate to go after this individual even after it was found out that it was in fact a police officer.”

Kevin Alvarez, Apolonio Hernandez and Jason Hernandez were represented in court this morning by their attorneys B.Q. Pitts and Sharon Pitts Robateau. Their case has been adjourned until the thirteenth of January.

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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