Accused Shooter Remanded: Krismar Espinosa Charged with Murder of Wilbert Banks Jr.

Accused Shooter Remanded: Krismar Espinosa Charged with Murder of Wilbert Banks Jr.

Tonight, 34-year-old, Krismar Espinosa is back behind bars after he allegedly shot and killed 38-year-old, Wilbert Banks Jr. on Friday night. Espinosa was charged with Bank’s murder yesterday, and today he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. The Ladyville resident, who was unrepresented, was denied bail and remanded to prison until June 6. Espinoza is accused of ambushing Banks as he drove his car in rural Belize. We join reporter Vejea Alvarez for the details. 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: A father of two was slain on Friday night in what police believe was an act of jealousy by his ex-girlfriend’s lover. Around 11:30, 38-year-old Wilbert Banks Jr was driving on Lake Garden Road when he came under a volley of bullets. Banks was hit multiple times and crashed his vehicle into a bungalow home where authorities found him behind the steering wheel, slouched on his side and motionless.    

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Upon arrival police observed a vehicle and inside the vehicle was the lifeless body of a male person who was identified as Banks. He displayed what appeared to be multiple gunshot injuries. The body was transported to the Karl Heusner Hospital where on arrival he was pronounced dead.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Banks’ murder has shocked many, including his long-time employer, Anthony Ordonez. Banks worked at Ordonez’s bike shop for several years and was appreciated in the cycling community. He was preparing to honor his brother, Kadeem Banks who died in an explosion in April 2022, prior to his murder. 

Anthony Ordonez, Former Employer of Deceased, Owner of Ordonez Bike Shop: “Friday evening we all cleaned up our bikes and we were supposed to take a short ride the Saturday morning to prepare for the ride that they would have for his brother Kadeem Banks and Eddison Usher who passed away almost two years to the date of this horrific event. I had no idea that I would get up Saturday morning and come across such horrific news. He was so close to me I believe he spent more time with me than his family. I mean he works here from nine until five in the evening and on Sunday he spends all day with me live streaming the race so we are always together. I mean you know it’s like I don’t know how – it left a hole in my heart you know ?”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The news of his murder has nudged hundreds of friends and associates, attesting to the humility and kindness of the victim.  His death came as a shock especially since it may have been connected to his love life.  

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “A search of the scene police found a cellphone belonging to a woman. The woman was subsequently identified and searches were conducted by the police in the Ladyville and Belize City area to locate the woman whose phone was found at the scene. The woman was subsequently found along with another male person who happened to be her common law husband who has been identified as one Chrismar Espinoza.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: And police believe that Espinoza, the woman’s ex-lover, fatally shot Banks in an act of jealousy. Williams explained that Espinoza had recently been released from prison and is no stranger to the authorities.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Chrismar Espinoza has been convicted of murder before and on appeal his murder conviction was reduced to manslaughter and recently got released from prison. It is our understanding through the investigation that prior to him going to prison he was with the woman and when he went to prison she had an affair with the now deceased and when he came out of prison he got back with the woman and Chrismar found out of her affair with the now deceased and based on that he went and committed the crime against Mr.Banks.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: And while Banks may have been dealing with threats of violence from Espinoza, Ordonez says he never mentioned being in any danger or fear for his life.

Anthony Ordonez, Former Employer of Deceased, Owner of Ordonez Bike Shop: “He never, like I said he’s a man of little words and so no he always smiled. Those guys tease him in the shop and he’s always smiling, never ever showed any sign that he had any issues.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Police are yet to say whether Banks was alone when he was killed but are working to gather additional details. In the meantime, Ordonez says he and the cycling community will remember Banks’ contribution and love for cycling, as well as the fun times they shared.

Anthony Ordonez, Former Employer of Deceased, Owner of Ordonez Bike Shop: “And he’s like a son to me. He was here from when he was a young teeneager hanging around the bike shop and eventually started working and he got into cycling. I was a former rider myself and he eventually started working at the bike shop and I would call him like a humble giant. He was a man of little words but always willing to help and give a helping hand to whatever you need. I mean I think that man would go buy groceries for you if you asked him.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Banks leaves behind two daughters.

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