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Two men arraigned for chopping incident in Krooman Lagoon Community, one pleads guilty

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Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2021. 11:32 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Two of the four men responsible for a brawl in the Krooman Lagoon community on Sunday where several people were chopped with machetes, were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The first to be arraigned this morning was 19-year-old, Abel Martinez, who appeared with attorney Leroy Banner. Martinez was read a single charge of wounding upon Freddy Itza, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Despite the prosecution’s objection to bail on the grounds that the accused lives in close proximity to the complainant and may cause him further harm, the court granted Martinez bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. His bail came on the condition that he not interfere with the complainant and not be charged with any other offense while out on bail.

The next to be arraigned was Hilberto Ruiz, who was charged with wounding 32-year-old, Violeta Singh. Ruiz, accompanied by his attorney Orson Elrington, pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $1,200 plus a $5.00 cost of court fine of which Ruiz must pay by April 29, 2022, or spend five months in jail for default. But the Magistrate ordered that Ruiz, who was in debt to the court in the sum of $650, must pay $300 before he could post bail, which he did.

Both men are suspected members of the Central American gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), which has prompted an increase in police presence in the Krooman Lagoon Community. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that two others are being sought in connection with the brawl.

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