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MoH Still Awaiting Confirmation of Chik-V
Oct 31, 2014

Is Chik-V in Belize?  The virus is prevalent in neighboring Central American countries and the Caribbean and in reality it is more a matter of when, not if, it reaches our shores. Up to Monday, the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health informed News Five that the virus was in Belize….but that has apparently changed in the past four days? Tonight the Central Medical Laboratory is reporting three positive Immuno-globulin M antibody tests for Chikungunya. The positive tests are on samples collected early last week as a result of an investigation into a suspected case of Chik-V from the Las Flores Community in Belmopan.  These three positive samples along with another sample will be sent next week Monday for further testing and final clinical confirmation by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Laboratory in Trinidad.  Two of four samples that were sent for testing last week, also from the Las Flores Community, came back positive for Dengue.  We note that with the exceedingly protracted time it is taking to receive final confirmation, if those tests do come back positive sometime in the future, those persons will have long passed the time when they can transmit the disease, so it won’t really matter by that point.

20 Years for Convicted Child Predator
Oct 31, 2014

Brian Charlesworth

Forty-five year old Brian Charlesworth has been convicted twice before for sexually abusing minors. Today, the pedophile secured jail time for another conviction of a sexual nature, which makes it the third conviction in thirteen years. On Wednesday, he was found guilty of carnal knowledge of a juvenile who was six years at the time she was abused between January and October 2011. This morning when Charlesworth was brought back to court for sentencing, he was in a foul mood. Before he got inside the court, he attacked the court reporter and while inside the courtroom he was disrespectful of the judiciary.  And just before mitigation, Charlesworth told the court that if he was to be sentenced; he wanted the judge to give him back the time he had served. Following the outburst, Justice Troadio Gonzalez sentenced him to twenty years behind bars, which are to run consecutively with a jail term conviction he is presently serving for another charge of sexual abuse.  But Charlesworth, upset with the verdict, blurted out that he thought that the justice system was fair and that he would have escaped conviction. Judge Gonzalez cautioned him saying he cannot be disrespectful of the juror’s decision. Charlesworth snapped saying he did not get justice. Judge Gonzalez noted that the jury had found him guilty of carnal knowledge and naturally this type of offense is very dangerous and serious for which there is a minimum of twelve years and up to life imprisonment to be imposed.  He also added that in Charlesworth’s case, he has a previous conviction for carnal knowledge and another for an indecent assault upon a minor. Charlestown records reveal that in 2001, Charlesworth was convicted for the first time of carnal knowledge and he was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment, the minimum jail term. In October 2009, he was granted parole for the carnal knowledge conviction having only served eight years and seven months. But within two years of his freedom he struck gain.  In November 2011, he was re-arrested and charged again for carnal knowledge, which had occurred between January and October 2011. That charge landed him back behind bars to continue serving his remaining jail term.  While on remand, Charlesworth picked up a second conviction for indecent assault of a minor.  That second conviction occurred on February 2013 and for that he was sentenced to three years.  All in all, the pedophile has been convicted three times for sexual offenses; his conviction today earned him twenty years behind bars. 

Female Inmate Alleges sexual Assault in Prison Van
Oct 31, 2014

Jareth Crawford

There is a disturbing report of the sexual assault of a female prisoner at the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville. The woman, who is serving a five-year jail term for a burglary offense, is alleging that she was sexually assaulted by twenty-one year old Kevin Bodden and twenty-nine year old Jareth Crawford. Both men, who are also inmates at the prison, reportedly assaulted the thirty-two year old female prisoner last Thursday while inside the prison van. Today, the duo appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Herbert Panton and pleaded not guilty to the offence. Only Crawford was offered bail in the sum of seven hundred dollars plus a surety of the same amount, but was sent back to prison since he is currently on remand for a robbery. Bodden, on the other hand, is serving a three-year jail term for grievous harm after he was found guilty of shooting police officer, P.C. Abel Mendez back in 2011. Both Bodden and Crawford told Magistrate Panton that they never touched the woman in any way. They are both due back in court for the sexual assault charge on December seventeenth. 

Belize City Men Arrested for Brazen Robbery
Oct 31, 2014

There was a daring robbery in Belize City’s Belama Phase Three on Thursday evening.  The broad daylight robbery happened at about four, and the target was Guan Fa Shop, a Chinese grocery store in the area. The cashier in the store, a nineteen year old student, told Police that three male persons walked straight up and demanded cash. While one of the robbers pointing a chrome revolver at him, another went behind the counter and took all the cash from the cash register; they then made off with the cash in a green Geo Prism car. But the police were soon informed and there was a very swift response by a little known Police Unit called the Eastern Division Strike Team. The men were intercepted by police just minutes after the robbery on Coney Drive and inside the vehicle were three men, a chrome point thirty-eight revolver with five live rounds of ammo and the stolen money totalling seven hundred and forty-one dollars and eighty-three cents in cash.

Douglas Hyde, Public Relations Coordinator, Eastern Division

Douglas Hyde

“Three male persons went to them and demanded cash. One of the male persons basically presented a chrome handgun and the other went behind the cashier and took over seven hundred dollars cash. Quick response by the Police apprehended a green geo Prism car and while searching the car they also found the money in a bag and also the chrome handgun. These person who were in the vehicle is one James Swazo, thirty-nine year old construction worker of Gill Street, also one Burton Claire, twenty-years old and Kyle Carter, eighteen years old. These persons are detained right now and are awaiting charges.”

Reporter

“What would be the process now? An identification parade?”

Douglas Hyde

“The process usually when these persons are detained is that definitely the identification parade will take place as part of the investigation and basically put together a file and charge the persons and proceed to the court.”

Reporter

“It’s one of the few times we’ve heard about the Eastern Division Strike Team. Talk to us about this unit.”

Douglas Hyde

“In terms of the recent crime situation the Eastern Division has developed strike teams in all the precincts and the strike teams specifically look at quick responses when it comes to crime.”

Hyde wouldn’t tell us much more about the composition of the strike team, only saying that they have selected highly trained officers from across the units and precincts. 

Was Leslie Logan Jr.’s Killing Justifiable Force
Oct 31, 2014

Leslie Logan Jr.

On September nineteenth, thirty year old Leslie Logan Jr. was shot by a Chinese proprietor after an armed robbery at Hung Yun Store. Logan had already jacked around five hundred in cash and handed it to an accomplice who fled the scene. As Logan attempted to do the same, the proprietor of the store ran out and shot him dead. Now here’s where things get a little murky. Logan robbed the store at gunpoint yes, but he was leaving the premises when he got shot. So was the use of lethal force justified? The Police obviously thought so because the Chinese man was never arrested for murder. But the matter was far from over. On October twenty-first Logan’s family called a press conference to accuse the Police Department of a cover-up. Interestingly, Logan’s father, Leslie Logan Sr. is a highly decorated retired Police officer himself. For context we revisit his comments.

Leslie Logan Sr., Father of Slain Robber [File: October 21st, 2014]

Leslie Logan Sr.

“The Chiney man shoot my son on the foot first and he fell, you know, and the Chiney, oh, the witness also said that when that shooting was occurring there was a policeman on the scene in uniform.  A policeman on the scene in uniform and the policeman tell di Chiney man, “shoot ahn because dehn done rob yo already. Ih done rob yo already so shoot ahn.”  And the Chiney man actually stand over, one foot over this side, one foot over this side and pumping lead in my son and he, the witness, counted nine expended shells on the scene, on the ground.  Nine.  All that he could have managed to say and then he even took off the cap, because my son was wearing a cap, off his head to recognize him and he said, oh he knew da who.  And the policeman told them, “move from the scene, move from the scene, yet they have not approached that boy to give a statement.  There is nothing, nothing that the police is doing that I can say that they are investigating the murder.  Now I went to Orange Walk police, you know.  I tried to speak to Mr. Tillett because Mr. Tillett says it’s self-defense because he went for a gun.  How the hell somebody who went for a gun can stand over next one and shoot him?  With his hands up begging for his life.  Matter of fact the gun that they found my son with, that he had, was empty.  There was no bullet in it.”

OW Police Reopen Investigations
Oct 31, 2014

Douglas Hyde

The comments of the highly respected career Police Officer who retired as second in command of the Orange Walk Police Formation did not go unheard. The allegations he made against the department were serious, and have resulted in the investigation being re-opened. At least that’s what we were told today by Public Relations Coordinator, Douglas Hyde.

Douglas Hyde, Public Relations Coordinator, Eastern Division

“In terms of the Logan situation I know that the case itself is being investigated and based on the media coverage that we saw, likewise we in the Police Department were really annoyed in terms of the allegation that was made against the Police Department itself, specifically the allegation about the Police Officer. Of course there must be an investigation if the Logan family goes in and makes a formal report, then that case will be investigated, and that much I can say. The Orange Walk Commander has literally requested an investigation into the matter specifically knowing that the Logan family has stated that there was a Police officer around, so the Commander there is definitely investigating that allegation. In our case, the Police Department itself, we strive for professionalism and I will say that over the years we have literally developed over the years in terms of our processes and our investigation and our intelligence work. We understand that he is annoyed and angry and hurt and we appreciate hearing his comments, and also in terms of his concerns we will be addressing some of the concerns that he brought up and we respect of course as a career Police officer we appreciate the years he has given within the department and of course criticism we have to appreciate whether it is positive or negative. We will be looking at the situation.”

It is alleged that the Chinese person who shot and killed Logan has left the country.