Cayo Police say they suspect that Cheyben “Ben” Bou Nehra, businessman playboy of Mirab’s Superstore, shot and killed himself last Sunday morning, December 21, in his hotel room at the San Ignacio Hotel.
Thirty-four year old Bou-Nahra is survived by his brother, Mike Bou-Nahra, principal owner of Mirab’s Superstore. and his mother Miriam Bou-Nahra.
Bou-Nahra was pronounced dead around 6:45 A.M. at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City.
Reports say police and hotel personnel found Bou-Nahra lying on the bed in his hotel room 101 with a gunshot wound to his right temple. His 9 mm pistol lay near his body, loaded with 12 rounds except for the single expended shell. Police have recovered the casing and the led slug which came out through his forehead.
Police and the hotel security guards who rushed to the room when they heard the gunfire found Bou-Nahra in a state of unconsciousness.
His girlfriend, Avita Bedran. was trying to revive him.
The police rushed him first to the Loma Luz Hospital and then to the KHMH where Bou-Nahra was pronounced dead.
Avita Bedran was taken to the Medical Associates Hospital on St Thomas Street in Belize City where she was admitted to ward suffering from shock. Bou-Nahra’s body was transferred to the morgue.
Avita Bedran told police that Bou-Nahra shot himself because he was displeased with her.
She said they were having a dispute in their hotel room and she went off to the bathroom. While in the bathroom she heard an explosion and found him laying on the bed with blood coming from his head.
Reports indicate that Bou-Nahra and Avita had attended a BNE Christmas Party at the San Ignacio Hotel earlier that night.
They left the party and went to the Rock Disco in Benque Viejo. In Benque Bou-Nahra became involved in a fight at the disco where two men held him and beat him. One of the men hit him over the head with a bottle.
Bou-Nahra and Avita left the Benque Rock Disco to return to the San Ignacio Hotel for a change of shirt.
On emerging from the hotel Bou-Nahra saw two men talking near his SUV in the hotel parking lot and straightaway concluded that they were trying to break in.
He approached the two men and accused them of trying to break into his car.
Richard Acosta and Richard Arnold told police that they were talking near a vehicle when Bou-Nahra stormed up and began to insult them. A violent argument followed Bou-Nahra’s outburst.
In the violence that followed Bou-Nahra took out a pistol and pointed it at Richard Acosta. When Arnold tried to intervene Bou Nahra pistol-whipped him over the head, causing him to bleed.
At this point Avita Bedran, his girlfriend, became angry and scolded Bou-Nahra and the two went arguing into the hotel.
Back in their hotel room, Bedran told police. She was still angry with Bou-Nahra when she went to use the bathroom. While in the bathroom, she heard a single gun shot and came running out. She saw Bou-Nahra laying on the bed, bleeding profusely from his head.
Superintendent Paul Wade, San Ignacio Police Chief, said that Acosta and Arnold were at the Police Station giving their statement when the news was received that Bou-Nahra had shot himself.
Wade said the case was treated like all other homicide cases where a person has been shot. There was a through investigation. The scene was processed with meticulous care and the clothing submitted for gunshot residue. Hand swabs were obtained from both Miss Bedran and Bou-Nahra for the presence of carbon residue.
Indications are pointing to a clear case of suicide, and the Cayo police may conclude that Bou-Nahra shot himself.
Police say the bullet entered from the side of the head at the temple, and this is consistent with a suicide prognosis.
There appears to be some divergence in what the police are reporting and friends of Bou-Nahra who say that he was shot from behind the head.
They point out moreover that Bou-Nahra loved life, and liked to party, and was not likely to take his own life under any circumstances.
Friends of Bou-Nahra also say that he was a very pleasant person as long as he remained sober. Once he begins to drink he becomes bellicose and violent.
A post mortem was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon on Bou-Nahra’s body. In 2005 Bou-Nahra shot and killed Shawn Copious, after Copius entered Bou Nahra’s yard.
However the prosecution’s case fell apart in the Supreme Court, when the three arresting police officers could not remember Bou-Nahra’s face and were not able to identify him as the person they arrested.
Bou-Nahra walked away free, but the three policemen have since been dismissed from the department and two are facing perjury charges in the Supreme Court.
If found guilty they could be sent to prison for five to seven years.
Funeral services for Ben Bou-Nahra have been set tentatively for Saturday, December 27 in Belize City. The Reporter