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Sep 8, 2021

3 Lawmen Arraigned in Connection with the Murder of Jessie Escobar

B.D.F. soldiers, Privates Raheem Valencio and Ramon Alcoser and Police Constable Juan Morales were arraigned today in Belmopan for the shooting death of twenty-nine-year-old Jessie Escobar.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports on the case which has captured public attention.


Duane Moody, Reporting

This afternoon, B.D.F. Private Raheem Valencio appeared in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court and was arraigned for the murder his colleague, B.D.F. soldier Jessie Escobar. Appearing alongside him were Police Constable Juan Morales and B.D.F. private Ramon Alcoser. They were charged for “Perverting the Course of Justice.” Following the proceedings, Valencio was remanded to prison.


Oscar Selgado

Oscar Selgado, Attorney-at-law

“I did not take note of his state of mind as to say remorse or no remorse. I spoke to him as an attorney and I did not take note of anything else. But I am saying he is composed in the sense that he is up, he is strong and he understood what is ahead of him.”


From as early as eight o’clock today, Santa Familia villagers and relatives of Escobar were out at the courthouse waiting for the arraignment. Their hope was that B.D.F. soldier is charged with murder. The media and the family were not allowed to enter the courtroom.


Rocio Quiroz

Rocio Quiroz, Cousin of Deceased

“I really can’t describe to you. I am very hurt. I have kids and I am very hurt. It is hard to explain.”


Isani Cayetano

“You have also had a similar run-in with the law where police abuse is concerned. How does that make you feel in light of what has happened with your cousin?”


Rocio Quiroz

“We have no trust in the justice system. We have no trust or respect for the police officers because Isani, I will be honest with you – you want respect, you don’t demand it, you earn it. Although there are a lot of good police officers, I have had encounters with many good police officers, but mien this is too much.”


Raheem Valencio


“The B.D.F. soldier in question has been charged with murder. Is that any sigh of relief for you guys?”


Rocio Quiroz

“No. For me honestly, I cannot speak on behalf of them, but trust me I am not going to sit back and let this blow over like a little breeze because a murder charge is nothing. We want a conviction because many times we hear that case files go missing and we cannot get a conviction. So we want a conviction. I personally am not just satisfied with a murder charge.”


Commissioner of Police Chester Williams reacted to the charges.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“As police, the public has expectations of us, and while I have always said we don’t act on public pressure, but rather we must always be guided by the evidence that the investigation reveals. What we simply did was to put the evidence together, conduct investigation properly, and the evidence to the D.P.P. for her determination as the law dictates we must do. And the D.P.P. having looked at all the evidence that we have gathered, come to the determination that the B.D.F. must be charged for murder, and the police and the other B.D.F. be charged for attempt to “pervert the courts of justice,”  for the fact that they lied in their statement with a due to cover up what actually transpired.”


Valencio was remanded until November thirtieth. Attorney Oscar Selgado explains the possible timeline ahead.


Jessie Escobar

Oscar Selgado

“Because of the severity of the charge, the criminal procedure rules provides that the Office of the D.P.P. will have – the police who are investigating coupled with the office of the D.P.P. – will have something like eight months thereabout to prepare for disclosure.   Disclosure in this case is two weeks before the preliminary inquiry. So they normally will have about eight months to prepare full disclosure. So when we come back on the thirtieth of November, I don’t expect anything to happen in terms of disclosure. This investigation is still ongoing as the commissioner has said. Charges have been proffered, yes, but the investigation is ongoing. There is need for ballistics report; there is need for all sorts of things from the autopsy. So the investigation is in its infancy.


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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