Burglary gone bad leaves one dead

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 28            July 24, 2003

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What started out as a crime of burglary ended in murder charges last week, and left a 25-year-old San Pedro resident dead and three others badly traumatized.    

    According to the San Pedro police, Daniel Lekas, a US national living across the lagoon on the far west side of Ambergris Caye, reported that on the evening of Tuesday, July 15th, 2003, at approximately 10:30 p.m., while he and his wife Sarah were asleep in their house, they heard a noise and saw two male persons entering their residence through a window. One of the intruders was armed with a handgun, the other with a knife; and both were wearing nylon stockings over their heads. Once inside the house, the intruders ordered the couple to the floor and demanded money.

     Two brothers who worked for the couple, Garson Swazo and Kenneth Swazo, were sleeping in another room. Upon hearing the commotion, the brothers went to investigate and a dispute resulted between the intruders and the two young men. During the struggle, Kenneth Swazo was shot twice, once in the head and once in the chest; he was later pronounced dead at the scene. Following the shooting, one of the intruders made his escape. Meanwhile, Daniel Lekas was able to jump from his porch to run for help, while his wife Sarah stayed in the corridor. It was at this time that the second intruder made his escape.

     After both of the intruders were gone, the three victims were able to regroup. After waiting a short time to make certain they were safe from harm, they traveled to the San Pedro Police Station to make a report, leaving the body inside the house. San Pedro police immediately proceeded to the crime scene, secured the house, and preserved the crime scene. The next morning, following an investigation by crime scene and forensic personnel, the body of Kenneth Swazo was removed and taken to Belize City to await a post mortem examination.

     Returning from the scene, SP Police Sergeant James Moreira dispatched officers to search the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town where it was reported that persons fitting the description of the intruders were seen. More than fifteen suspects were then taken to the SP police station for questioning.

    As a result, on Wednesday, July 16th, 2003, Nathaniel Forman, 23, resident of Belize City and Alexandro Edwards, 18, resident of San Pedro Town, were both arrested and charged with the crimes of murder, conspiracy to commit burglary and aggravated burglary. The two men were remanded to Hattieville Prison to await trial.

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