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Wanted Michael Brown turns self in to face questioning in triple murder; Christian Espat should too, says Commissioner

Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2023. 9:23 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Commissioner of Police Chester Williams spent today on the island of Ambergris Caye personally following up the grisly triple homicide that claimed the lives of three-year-old Amari Rodriguez, her father, Delmar Rodriguez, and Carlos Chi of Corozal and left four others injured.

An increased presence of cops on the island includes a contingent from Major Crimes Unit assisting San Pedro Police, and the first big break in the case came when this evening, one of the suspects, identified as Michael Brown, turned himself in to the police department in the presence of attorney Leslie Hamilton. Another suspect, Christian Espat, remains at large and is being sought in connection with the incident.

The Commissioner explained that after viewing the crime scene he made some observations: “We have recorded a number of statements from persons who can shed some light to the police in terms of what may have transpired. I recently came back from visiting the scene, myself, Mr. Noble and Mr. Cowo and I were given an appreciation in terms of the layout of the area where the gunmen were waiting, as well as the area from which the golf cart on which the deceased was on. And again, it’s surprising to see that the victim, the Rodriguez and now the suspects, the Espats, live basically two houses away, they’re practically neighbors in the San Pedrito area. So we have looked at the area and gotten an appreciation of it. We’re still trying to locate other witnesses to be interviewed and we still believe that we are on the right track in terms of the two persons we are looking for, that is Michael Brown and Christian Espat.”

As for Espat, who reached out to this media house late last night through a family member to deny involvement, the Commissioner had a very simple message for him: “…my answer to that is that that can be done from anywhere. If he so believes that he is innocent, then present yourself to the police. You know that you are being sought, so then hand yourself over and then we see where we go from there.” That also goes for his claims of police brutality following his detention last week.

The increase in police presence on the island, leading into the tourist high season, is an indication that police will do their best to avoid a “drug war” that could spill over. Lending his support is suspended Government Minister and Belize Rural South area representative Andre Perez, who met with the Commissioner and his team today and reiterated that for the sake of the tourism industry at least, Ambergris and other tourist destinations should be at the forefront of safety.

 

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