Thirty nine year old customs officer, Rudolf Williams, appeared today before the Orange Walk Magistrates court to face a single charge of manslaughter following the shooting death of thirty year old Dwayne Almendarez.
Almendarez as you may remember received three shots, one to the thigh, one to the left chest and one to the abdomen during an altercation with customs and BDF officials on Tuesday August 15th in the village of Yo Creek.
Reports are that the altercation ensued after customs, supported by BDF officials conducted a search on a passenger bus and attempted to confiscate un-customed goods from passengers on board. The passengers, not willing to give up their items allegedly started an attack on the officers, during which Almendarez is said to have physically attacked Williams, who was one of the officers on patrol. Williams, then reportedly fired a warning shot into the air but seeing that Almendarez did not cease his attack and fearing for his life, fired the shots which wounded Almendarez.
Almendarez succumbed to his injuries at the KHMH four days after the incident.
In court today no plea was taken from Rudolf Williams as the matter is considered an indictable offence. The officer though, was offered bail by Magistrate Albert Hoare at the sum of five thousand dollars plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of two thousand five hundred each, which he met.
Williams was represented in court today by Attorney Tracy Sosa who represents the Customs and Excise Department and is to reappear in court on the 27th of September 2017.