The trial against four men accused of the 2016 attempted armed assault of Rapidito Loans on 4th Avenue in Corozal Town commenced yesterday at the Corozal Magistrate’s Court.
Maliek Michael Humes, a resident of Berkley Street in Belize City; Alton Garcia, a construction worker of Wagner’s Lane in Belize City; Kareem Heusner also of Wagner’s Lane in Belize City and Erwin Castillo of a Corozal address are facing prosecution.
On the morning of November 24th, 2016 a group of men attempted an armed hold up of the business place. Only the owner and a security guard were inside the business at the time, and the security guard opened fire on the men who had pulled out firearms.
The assailants were forced to retreat but one of them had been shot and left a trail of blood. The men, it is believed, got into a waiting vehicle driven by Castillo an attempted to escape.
A Police Officer who was off duty and in the area when the incident occurred set chase behind the culprits in his vehicle. Orange Walk Police then set up a checkpoint which intercepted the men inside a van.
Yesterday, only Heusner and Castillo turned up in Court, and although their attorney was not present, the Court proceeded with a trial.
The Court heard from security guard Juan Reyes who told the Court that he saw one of the men come in the store and take out what appeared to be a gun. The gunman pointed his weapon at the store owner and demanded money. Reyes said he was behind a tinted glass in the cafeteria area and when he saw that his employer’s life was in danger, he took out his licensed firearm and opened fire on the men.
Heusner made an attempt to cross examine Reyes, asking whether he was able to see the faces of the men who entered the store. Reyes answered that he could not see the men’s faces as they wore shirts with hoods which covered their heads.
Castillo had no questions for Reyes.
The case continued in the afternoon with the Court hearing the testimony of the Police officers who responded to the assault and who carried out the arrest of the men.
The trial was adjourned and will continue on Monday, July 1st.