Christian Espat and Michael Brown Remanded on Nine Criminal Charges
Christian Espat and Michael Brown were taken up to the Belize Central Prison today, after being remanded for nine criminal charges each. The duo, accused of the killing of two men and a toddler, were escorted to Belize City for arraignment, due to the absence of a magistrate in San Pedro. The men arrived at the Magistrate’s Court just after 8 o’clock and two hours later were arraigned on three counts of murder for the fatal shooting of 3-year-old Amarie Rodriguez; her father, 25-year-old, Delmar Rodriguez, and 24-year-old, Carlos Chi. Espat and Brown were also each slapped with three counts of attempted murder upon Jose Hernandez, Ruben Guerra, and Randy Guerra and three counts of use of deadly means of harm. The men were denied bail and remanded to prison until December 30. Espat and Brown are believed to be the triggermen behind the violent onslaught that police say is connected to drugs. Espat’s family has since launched a campaign, saying that Christian is innocent, and is the victim of police abuse. They say that two weeks ago, Espat was beaten by police in San Pedro and sustained injuries to his head. They additionally claim that Espat was in Mexico receiving medical attention at the time of the triple homicide. Today, his sister, Stephanie, spoke to the media and alleged that police have the wrong man for the unfortunate incident.
Stephanie Espat, Sister of Christian Espat: “I am not only a witness to the cruelty that has been happening with Christian Espat but also witness stating that I was with him the night the murder occurred. Sadly it is a tragic thing that happened but he is innocent in all of this because it was not only one or two people that were with him there were around five people that were with him that night that can state that he was at Chetumal. We were there with him for the hospital and we were at the hotel with him, we were even eating pizza the night that everything happened. My condolences to the family but my brother is innocent with all of this that is happening. Even today the injustice that’s been happening with the police they didn’t even tell us they were bringing him to the Magistrate’s court here in Belize we had to arrive late around eleven when he was already carried out to Hattieville because nobody wants to give us any information.”
According to Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, Rodgriguez, the intended target of the shooting, had found a bale of cocaine on the sea, and was targeted by Espat due to him receiving an unequitable share of the drugs. Police also allege that Espat is one of the major players of the island drugs trade.