Sixteen of the twenty-eight prisoners who escaped the Kolbe facility have been recaptured. The additional two were caught over the weekend as reported by the Police Commissioner.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Our manhunt continued over the weekend and we were able to apprehend two additional of them that is Perez and Pais. They appeared in court this morning I am not too certain what the outcome is. I believe that Perez had pled guilty this morning and was sentenced to one year to run concurrent with any other sentence that he may by serving. Well I have an issue with the concurrent sentence because if you’re going to allow the sentence to run concurrent it simply means that the prisoner is not being punished for having escaped from prison and so myself the the DPP have discussed the matter because we had some last week who were given concurrent sentences and the DPP has indicated that she is going to appeal the sentence of these persons who were given concurrent sentences. It must be that by law there is a sentencing guideline in law which said that concurrent sentence is only used in situations where a person commits more than one offence at the same time and they arrive from the same circumstances then the person is to be sentenced concurrently like for example you catch a man with a gun and the gun has in ammunition it is one circumstance so you might sentence for three years for the gun, three years for the ammunition but they would run concurrent but lets say the man shoots at someone with the gun and he is apprehended later on with the gun and he’s charged with the robbery and he’s charged for the gun that should not be concurrent it should be consecutive because it’s two separate offences so the same principle should apply here. The fact that escaping from prison is not akin to the offence for which they were in prison it should not carry a concurrent sentence. So I would want to think the magistrate erred and we’re hoping that with the appeal from the DPP that we’ll be able to rectify that issue that they are sentenced accordingly for having escaped from prison. With that we now have sixteen already apprehended that includes the one that is deceased and there are twelve more out there on the run. We continue to look for them and we continue to appeal to the public to assist us in whatever way they can. If you know there whereabout of any of these individuals please feel free to contact us via 911 or the 922 number and then we are going to respond accordingly.”
Senior Superintendent Hilberto Romero is heading the criminal investigation at the Belize Central Prison to verify if there was collusion between some guards and the escapees. As an update to that investigation, Romero noted that nothing has popped up that confirms collusion.
Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch: “”In regards to the investigation regarding the escapees several statements have been recorded, several persons have been interviewed and so far we have found no collusion between any of the prison guards and the escapees.”
Reporter: The investigation into riot that morning claiming the life of Stephan Jenkins are you able to tell us-
Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch: “Yes that is a separate investigation. Again we have conducted interviews, statements recorded and a file will be compiled which will then be reviewed and forwarded to the DPP.”
Police remain on the lookout for the remaining twelve escapees.