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Michael Meighan Released with no charges

Michael Meighan is a happy man tonight. That is what his attorney Norman Rodriguez told Love News. Meighan was released from police detention with no charges. He was wanted for questioning in connection to the murder of former Gang leader of the PIV Bloods, 42-year-old Darren Banks which occurred on July 25 on Ebony Street in Belize City. Earlier in the week, Police Commissioner Chester Williams told reporters that investigators have video footage that showed the vehicle Meighan was driving near the murder scene. Williams had stated that the footage shows the vehicle racing away from the scene. This morning, Meighan responded to the ComPol.

Michael Meighan, Released from Police Detention:With me racing off of the scene, I can’t say I was racing off of the scene because I just naturally drove. I was an office assistant at this compound. I drove all day every day. Most of the time I had the vehicle or cycle and I was never at one spot. I am always all over the place, so technically he probably looked at it as though I was driving off hard, but that video that they are talking about where I drove off, that isn’t even the scene. That was by the round-a-bout side. So still, you can’t say that I was driving off of the scene hard. You understand? And with me not showing up to work…just like they had the log book stating that I had the vehicle from four until six or seven.  They have a punch in system, whereby when we go to work, we have to punch in. So Tuesday, I did punch in at work, and I did my chores at work Tuesday; and I had the option whereby when I was given my chores on Tuesday, to either use the motorcycle or the vehicle, and I chose to use the vehicle.  When I received my assignment from my supervisor, he gave me the keys to the vehicle on Tuesday with my assignment. Then when I walked downstairs going to the vehicle, the stadium’s assistant supervisor had the keys for the cycle, and he asked me “would you like to go in the cycle or are you going in the vehicle?” and I chose the vehicle.  So technically I was driving around the vehicle on Tuesday. Where the police found the vehicle on Tuesday parked on the compound, I was the last one that drove that vehicle Tuesday, parked it where the police found it and gave the keys back to my supervisor. So I don’t know how they can say that I didn’t show up to work the next day, and technically the police can’t say they had gone to look for me on Tuesday because they didn’t know who was in the vehicle.  They were looking for the vehicle because the vehicle was in the area and they wanted to follow leads. As an investigating officer, that’s what he is supposed to do; so I don’t have any problems with that. I was wanted for questioning, so when the police found out on the compound that I was the one who had the vehicle on Tuesday, then I became a person. And before they even put up the wanted poster, they did leave a message on the compound and told my supervisor to have me come see them on Wednesday, which was the following day and did my interview. I tried to get to them from Wednesday, so I don’t know.

Meighan’s attorney, Norman Rodriguez, also spoke to Love News about his release from police custody. According to Rodriguez, Meighan now has the option to file a civil suit against the government for being wrongfully detained by police. 

Norman Rodriguez, Attorney at Law: I have spoken briefly to him, advising him as to what his options are. We have the authority to support bringing a claim or action against the attorney general for matters like these where you’re detained and not charged, but right now he’s just basking in his returned freedom and I believe that we’ll speak about where we go from here a little later. I know that I had requested in a letter to the investigating officer, the officer in charge of the investigation, that I would like for his constitutional rights, his overall rights to be respected and honoured. They detained him for questioning in relation to that matter. He only had informal discussion with the sergeant and there was no formal interview, and I believe based on that, the officer was able to determine that Michael Meighan did not participate in any murder that they were claiming. The commissioner made certain statements. The commissioner is a trained attorney. He is also the commissioner of the Belize Police Force of Department. As a trained attorney, he knows what he can say and cannot say. I think I saw in a later interview where he spoke guardedly and reminded the interviewer that certain things can be a liability upon him and the higher authorities. So he made mention of certain things, and so far my client has not instructed me that we need to revisit any of those, but as an attorney myself, I always stand ready to hear what my clients are saying and advise them if there is any recourse for what might have been said and we move from there.