12 days until postmortem; Widow alleges foul play during incarceration
Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly
Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly died inside a cell at the San Pedro Police Formation on April twenty-sixth. His body was transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital morgue but he had not been laid to rest because the family was awaiting an autopsy for twelve days. On Tuesday that examination was finally carried out by Doctor Mario Estradabran, whose contract with the Ministry of Police is under negotiation. This afternoon the police department released the official report citing the cause of death as “Hypervolemic shock due to internal bleeding; due to multiple abdominal trauma, and due to a blunt instrument.” What it does not say is that Boco T was in police custody at the time of his death and whether or not there is a murder investigation with the guidance of Internal Affairs. We tried to speak to the press officer on who are the investigating officers, and if any police officers stationed in San Pedro are the subject of that investigation, but he did not return our calls. Police originally claimed that Boco T had escaped from custody following a robbery and fell on his face after scaling two fences. He was recaptured on the threat of being shot. News Five was able to reach Boco T’s widow, Lorna Wade who believes he was murdered.
Lorna Wade, Widow of Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly
“When they done, Dr. Estradabran send the paper out to me and then stated that Boco no died from broken neck or no died from any overdose; that he died in the custody of the police—trauma to the stomach and internal bleeding.”
“Trauma to the stomach and internal bleeding. Did anyone say from the San Pedro Police Formation how that may have happened?”
“Up to now as I’ve stated, no police come talk to me yet. They still no tell we why they detain him. We just the hear lee things, just rumors on the street, but up to yet no police talk to me or the mother.”
“Now this sounds like something for internal affairs. Have you spoken to any police about investigating those officers out there?”
“Well right now we di talk to our lawyer, Kareem Musa. He wa do wah private investigation to the police. He gwen out to San Pedro and find out more or less weh he could gather up because we di look fi do wah sue to sue the police because why they take so long to do the autopsy. We believe they mi have something fi hide and not the doctor report confirm that probably Boco get several beating and that’s why ih mi di bleed inside.”
“Now just for putting it into perspective, his case is the second case of a person at least they were saying just fainting or just drop down and died. Does that also concern you that there is something more happening in that department?”
“On the street I hear that they banned Boco already from the island and he neva come in. So I believe that dah something that they meant to do to him because as weh I say, I mi just wish maybe if they mi bring him, detain him, and charge him for a crime that they said he commit. But don’t kill him and hib ahn dah morgue without report nothing to we. Me nor ih family noh know nothing until somebody come and tell we oh ih body done deh dah more. Police still no come to us and say well Miss Wade or Miss Kelly, we have Kevin Kelly’s body at the morgue.”
“Do you think he was killed?”
“As me and ih family says, when we notice Kevin body, we know ih mi bruise so we know that they beat him. And the young man that was with Kevin on the island said he notice they di throw water and the taze him—shock him up—and several people say they see when they mi di beat Kevin. That lead up to they di kill ahn noh.”
“Boco’s children, his family that he is leaving behind, how have they been doing without having their provider around?”
“Well right now as we said, he used to look after ih three daughters and right now I have my children them and he used to help me out. So I don’t know weh we wah do. So when it comes to his funeral we di ask if anyone could assist us because due to the police holding the body so long, we could not get around to anybody helping us because they tell we they need the death certificate. But being now that it is twelve days since ih body on this earth, we have to hurry do something weh we could do. We di ask if anybody could assist us.”
If you would like to assist Wade, you can call her at 651-0178 or make a deposit to her Belize Bank Account number at 2025666. Wade says that Boco T’s funeral will take place on Thursday afternoon at Saint Mary’s Church.
Was Boco-T Beaten To Death?
Was Kevin Kelly, known as Boco-T, beaten to death by police? That's what his family believes after a post mortem examination confirmed that he died of, quote, "Hypovolemic shock due to internal bleeding, due to multiple abdominal trauma, due to blunt instrument type."
Today, we spoke to the Police Press Office, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, who told us that he will refrain from speaking publicly about the matter because the investigation is still in its early stages.
He did assure us that this matter is under acute observation because of the circumstances of Kelly's death.
He said that if he were to issue a statement now, if charges are brought against any of the police officers under investigation, they could foreseeably use the comments to get acquitted.
Sounds like bush lawyer medicine to us, but he said that he won't comment in the interest of the family.
That family is calling it police murder - which they had to wait almost two full weeks to confirm - because the police forensic pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran's contract expired in February.
Kelly died in custody of San Pedro police on the night of Thursday April 26th. The cops said he was wanted for questioning for a robbery.
According to the San Pedro Sun, police chased him behind the Four Sister Plaza on Pescador Drive, where several shots were fired at him. He was later apprehended behind a yard on Angel Coral Street. Police said that he started fainting and showed difficulty breathing, from the time they apprehended him. His family says he was systematically beaten and tortured with a taser gun.
Kelly is the second person to die in custody of San Pedro police in less than two months.
The crimes Investigation Branch and the Internal Affairs Office is now investigating his death.
As regards the backed up post mortem examinations - nine out of eleven outstanding autopsies have now been completed since Monday. The remaining two will be done tomorrow.
Estradabran's contract is in its final revision and is being forwarded to him for his approval. The Ministry of National Security expects that the contract should be signed by tomorrow.