Arrest Made in Murder Case, More Charges Expected During State of Emergency
One man has been nabbed for the murder believed to spark the war between two Belize City gangs, and investigators are hoping to make crack other cases. Today, 31-year-old David Sutherland was arrested and charged with the daylight murder of 33-year-old Nicoli Rhys. The George Street gangster was shot and killed on Neal’s Penn Road last Thursday, and his murder resulted in the execution of Steve Moss and James Escarpeta. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says that during the State of Emergency period, investigators will be laying charges against several men believed to be the perpetrators of recent homicides.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Another issue again that the state of emergency is going to help us in is to give CIB the opportunity to properly investigate these persons who are accused of the murders that we have had. Many of those who have been detained are suspect in those respective murders. And you know the 48-hours window period that we normally have to investigate would not be sufficient due to the fact that witnesses may fear retribution from these individuals. So with them being in prison, it may give witnesses, it may make witnesses feel more comfortable to come forward and speak to the police and give statements in respect to these murders. So again, it gives investigators more time to investigate. I know that there are at least about five of them that we have charges prepared for and once they come into custody they will be charged for being a member of a gang. Some of them that we have detained will be charged for murder. As a matter of fact, I just got an update from CIB that we have just charged someone in respect to the murder of Nicoli Reece and we have also located Akeem Agustus who is wanted for the attempt murder in Hattieville, that of the guy Lewis and he too will be charged sometime today in respect to the Lewis shooting. The murder we had on West Street two nights ago we have good video footage from the police camera system picking up that murder and so we know who the suspect is and Ms. Hortence will be issuing the wanted poster for that person today, and we’ll seek the public assistance in locating him. So once he’s found, again, based on our CTV camera system we will be able to arrest and charge that individual for the murder of Escaparpeta. So like the Minister said, most of the murders we’re having we’re making success in terms of detecting them and with what we have we think that we can successfully prosecute them eventually down the road.”