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May 2, 2023

Tehje Vaughn is Denied Bail in Shooting Death of Charles Canton

Tehje Vaughn

This morning in the lower courts, the daughter of a well-known city councilor was denied bail when she was brought up on a charge of manslaughter by negligence.  Tehje Vaughn has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July third, when she is scheduled to go before the Chief Magistrate Jayani Wegodapola.  Vaughn, who is represented by attorney Leeroy Banner, is accused of the shooting death of her colleague, twenty-seven-year-old Charles Canton.  Both the suspect and the victim were employed at Holy Redeemer Credit Union.  They had just left work to purchase a few drinks at a Chinese grocer when the unthinkable happened to the young father.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Twenty-four-year-old Tehje Vaughn appeared before the Chief Magistrate this morning, where the customer service representative was arraigned on a single count of manslaughter by negligence.  The charge was brought against her, following a deadly shooting on Friday evening near a popular watering hole in Belize City.


Hilberto Romero

ACP Hilberto Romero, Regional Commander, Eastern Division

“Around 5:17 p.m., police responded to a shooting incident in the King’s Park area of Belize City.  Upon their arrival, they found the motionless body of a male person in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, motionless, apparently dead.  The person was identified as Charles Canton.  He was taken to the K.H.M.H. and thereafter he was pronounced dead on arrival.”


Charles Canton

It is reported that Charles Canton, a resident of Sand Hill Village, had just parked his vehicle on 2nd Street and was in the company of Vaughn and another occupant, identified as Jose Montero.  He then produced a licensed firearm and placed it on the hand rest inside the SUV.  While loading the magazine, Vaughn allegedly reached for the weapon.


Hilberto Romero

“They were in the car consuming alcoholic beverages and the deceased placed his gun on the seat and she took the gun from the seat.”


A single shot was fired and a round that was chambered in the nine millimeter handgun tore through the back of Canton’s driver’s seat, mortally injuring him.  It all happened suddenly and quickly here, in front of Alaska.


Voice of: Cathy Canton

Voice of: Cathy Canton, Sister of Deceased

“I was coming home from work.  I stopped to get some gas in Ladyville and I met a friend and he said, he was also putting in gas, and he said, “Cathy, have you heard what happened?”  So I said, “No, what’s going on and right away I pulled out my phone and I saw so many missed calls.”


That’s when Charles’ older sister realized that something had gone terribly wrong.


Tehje Vaughn

Cathy Canton

“He said he just heard that Charles got shot and I said, “No, no.”  He said, “Yes.”  So I picked up my phone and I called my husband and I said, “Babe, please tell me this is not true and he said, “Yes, please come straight home.”


Charles Canton

Charles’ childhood friend was at a shop in the village when he also received word of the tragedy.  The mortgage officer at Holy Redeemer Credit Union had been shot and killed by his co-worker.


Voice of: Tyrone Ferguson

Voice of: Tyrone Ferguson, Friend of Deceased

“Friday evening, I mi deh out by di Chiney and somebody come and tell me, “Bwai, Charles, somebody shot Charles.”  I da like, “What?”  Soh I leff from deh and I come straight come check and sih weh di happen.”


By then, Cathy Canton was already on her way to Belize City, heading towards the scene of the shooting where she had been summoned to identify her brother.


Cathy Canton

“So we went back to Belize and I went to the crime scene and I saw him sitting in his car, you know.  I was hoping it wasn’t him, but it was.  So waited until they did their investigation and whatever and they told me it’s time to come over and that’s when I saw him.”


It’s an unfortunate reminder of the dangers of playing with a firearm.


Cathy Canton

“It wasn’t new to him, he knew about guns. He hunts all the time, so it wasn’t new to him, you know, and that’s why it’s just a shocker that he was so kind of careless to have somebody else touching his weapon, you know, it’s a shocker for us.”


Canton, a village councilor, an athlete and a loving father died leaving behind a two-year-old daughter and a life that he was preparing for his small family.


Isani Cayetano for News Five.


In court earlier today, the prosecutor asked the Chief Magistrate to send a stern message to the public, including persons who are committing offenses with firearms since a life was lost.  He also asked for bail to be denied on the premise that similarly to the Jasmine Hartin case, bail was denied and Hartin was remanded until she was able to seek bail through the high court.

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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