As previously reported, two men were in police custody in connection with the murder of 56 year old Edward Robinson and the shooting of 33 year old Jamil Betancourt. Today Police say that the two men, identified as Devon Sankey and Ryan Alvarez- both of Supal Street will be charged for Murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. An internal feud is suspected to have led to the weekend shootings on North Creek Road. Inspector Alejandro Cowo, Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch of Precincts one and two, provided the details.
Insp. Alejandro Cowo, O.C. CIB South: Over the weekend as you know we had the 2 murders. The 1st one happened with Mr. Edward Robinson. So far police conducted an investigation into the matter, where several persons were interviewed and statements were recorded. As a result, 2 persons were detained yesterday. They are Ryan Alvarez and Devon Sankey, both of the Supal Street Area. At prison they are being charged and will be taken to the Magistrate Court sometime this afternoon. They will be charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted murder on Jamil Betancourt. Based on what we recovered at the scene, it was a 9mm pistol. We understand that it’s an internal problem that they are going through at this time and they have their little argument amongst them which cause, which lead to this situation.
Similar to cases of warring factions of communities and gangs in the not too distant past, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams noted that they have engaged the Supaul Street factions and as a direct result, two suspects were arrested and charged.
Sr. Sup. Chester Williams, O.C. Eastern South Division: As Mr. Cowo had rightly mentioned a while ago that yesterday we did a number of interventions. We did one with the Supal Street crowd and that is of a direct result of the shooting at Jamil Betancourt and the murder of Mr. Robinson, which arose from the same incident. The interventions so far have been going well but as is always customary, even though we do interventions to see how best we could calm situations down, the investigative process always continues and Mr. Romero and Mr. Cowo and Sergeant Sanchez has been busy all day yesterday, working on the investigative aspect of the shooting that took place in both North Creek and Burkley Street. Their work has resulted in the arrest of the 2 individuals mentioned by Mr. Cowo. And they too were part of the intervention yesterday. So that is just to say that even though we do this intervention, it does not mean that if you are found to have been the person or the culprit of a crime that you will not be arrested and charged. The intervention is not a method or a means to endorse any form of criminality, but rather to try and prevent any retaliation or escalation in the crime situation.
Sankey and Alvarez appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser to be read their charges. Neither man had legal representation and no plea was taken. They were denied bail due to the nature of the offenses and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 27, 2015. Before leaving court, Alvarez asked Senior Magistrate Fraser to inform the court that he owes some money from a previous conviction where he was fined $200 and has not paid it yet and for a warrant to be sent up for him to serve the fine in jail time which will be equivalent to 2 months’ imprisonment. Meanwhile, police continue their investigations into the murder of Karl Heusner, shot dead on Saturday afternoon. According to police, the motive of the murder may be gang related. Superintendent Hilberto Romero, Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch-Eastern Division, tells us more.
Supt Hilberto Romero, Head of CIB, Eastern Division: Well the preventative measures have been taken, the mediation process, the areas that need to be covered are being patrolled. In regards to the murder of Karl Heusner we are doing follow up work at this time. We’re reviewing video footage from the area. We are interviewing persons and that investigation continues. At this time we have no one detained but we are continuing with that investigation.
Senior Superintendent Chester Williams tells us of other mediation sessions with other warring factions as well as continued efforts to de-escalate violence stemming from the murder of Karl Huesner.
Sr. Sup. Chester Williams, O.C. Eastern South Division: We South Side operation officers have teamed up with GSU on a number of occasions and we continue to do operations in these areas affected by gang violence and the purpose of the operation is to go at those persons who are perpetrating these criminal acts. We have detained a number of them and we have interviewed them, and at the same time we have also had interventions with George Street, Jump Street, Southside gangsters and Rocky Road because the shooting of Mr. Huesnor had some gang implication between those 4 groups. So again yesterday myself, Miss. Finnegan, and Douglas Hyde, we had a very good mediation session with those 4 groups yesterday with a view to see how we could de-escalate the feud between those groups, with a view to prevent any further retaliation in that area. In addition in what we have done, we have also stepped up our police operations in those areas to have a more higher visibility of police officers which is being done with a view to reduce the occurrence of crimes in those areas, in particular jump street.