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Joined: Oct 1999
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A popular musician was stabbed to death in Punta Gorda Town this morning - and it happened in the street near the Town Center. 36 year old Lascelle Martinez, well-known as a musician with the Coolie Rebels band and other musical outfits, was at a friend's house at the corner of West and Jose Maria Nunez Streets - when a 33 year old man, stabbed him three times. The motive?: Jealousy. And after that, the assailant went right to his ex-girlfriend's house, stabbed her 8 times and then fled. She lived, but Martinez's wounds were more serious and he died early this afternoon. Apparently, Martinez - had started a relationship with 21 year old Tianne Figueroa - and her ex was taking it very badly; reports say he was crazed by jealousy. Tonight, police are asking Simeon Lino - seen in the background of this picture - as a person of interest. Tianne Figueroa's was is at the PG Hospital where her condition is stable.

Lascelle Martinez, who was the son of former UDP Minister, Eden Martinez was a regular at Waluco's and other popular venues throughout the south where he played keyboards and performed as a vocalist. His broad daylight murder has left the tight-knit PG community in shock.

Channel 7

Musician Lascelle Martinez Stabbed to Death in P.G.

Residents of Punta Gorda Town are tonight reeling from the senseless murder of one of their beloved musicians and former band mate of the famed Coolie Rebels.� Thirty-five-year-old Lascelle Martinez, son of former Toledo East Area Representative Peter Eden Martinez, was stabbed to death around midday today at his residence.� The deadly attack preceded another incident during which a woman, identified as Tianne Figueroa, was also injured.� The motive of the murder, it is believed, is the result of jealousy.� According to Martinez's roommate, they were inside their home at a West and Victoria streets address when a vehicle arrived.� The driver of the red Ford pickup alighted the vehicle and requested to see Martinez.� When the best friend notified his roommate that he had a visitor waiting outside, Martinez left his meal to attend to the individual.� Shortly thereafter, a verbal exchange about the young lady ensued, before Martinez was fatally stabbed.� News Five understands that the suspect, identified as Simeon Lino, has been detained by Punta Gorda police.� Earlier this evening, we spoke by phone with Ainslie Valerio, the roommate who witnessed the tragic ordeal.

Voice of: Ainslie Valerio, Roommate of Deceased

"Well at about eleven-thirty, more or less around that time, I was inside my house ironing my uniform to get ready to go to work, you know.� So like about eleven or so, eleven-thirty, a vehicle just stopped in front of my house, a red Ford Ranger stopped in front of my house.� And I walked outside and I went to the roadside and the young man said, "Mr. Ducky" because my nickname is Ducky, "Ducky, can I see if Lascelle is there?"� So I tell the young man, "Yes, but he's having lunch."� That's what I told the young man.� So the young man said, "I just want to talk to Lascelle a little bit."� So I said, "Okay, no problem.� Let me call Lascelle for you."� So I called Lascelle and told Lascelle, "Breds, somebody wahn sih yoh outside."� So he said, "Who?"� I told him it's Simon Lino.� So he said, "For what?" and I said well I'm not really sure, go and check.� So Lascelle put down his food and went to see what the young man wanted.� So I went back to iron and I left them to talk [to each other] man to man.� So from there I heard Lascelle say, "Well yoh haffu talk to yoh gial mi bredda."� That's what I heard Lascelle say.� So I stopped ironing and I went outside because I know the voice was getting too stronger.� So when I walked outside there were some clothes on the veranda because he washed his clothes this morning at my house and from there when I moved a towel in front of me I saw, well he started stabbing.� I then took one of the towel and I threw it in front of him, you know, to avoid stabbing my brother.� By the time I looked around and asked for my friend, he had jumped through the back window and probably he was heading to the hospital, you know, and from there, like about twenty minutes after, I heard that my friend passed away who is Lascelle Martinez. �It's a sad situation right now, it happened so fast until, you know, I managed to see what I [could do.]� I then called the police also too to get police assistance."

Isani Cayetano

"I understand that there was a second stabbing incident involving the young man's girlfriend or ex-girlfriend, whatever relation they have.� Can you [tell us about that?]"

Voice of: Ainslie Valerio

"They stay at least like three blocks away from us and we were not, me and my best friend Lascelle were not aware of that stabbing incident there.� We were at our own house minding our own business, you know, and we were talking and he was already having lunch and I started to iron my uniform and say, "Breds, I'm heading to work in a few."� He said, "When you go to work I'll be at home here relaxing with my bitters."� That's what he said and from there we stopped talking and then the incident occurred."

Channel 5

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Lascelle Martinez - His Murder Leaves Community Grieving

Punta Gorda residents are still coming to terms with the murder of Lascelle Martinez. He was a celebrated vocalist and keyboard player for the Coolie Rebels. The 35 year old musician was stabbed yesterday morning in front of his friend's house. But that's not all, Martinez's girlfriend Tianne Figueroa was attacked just moments earlier about a half a mile away. Figueroa survived after she was stabbed 8 times. It was all motivated by jealousy. Courtney Weatherburne has more on Martinez's musical background and his untimely killing.

Courtney Weatherburne reporting
Lascelle Martinez always captivated crowds with his spirited voice and stellar keyboard skills. He had been performing from age 18 and is best known for his work with the Coolie Rebels.

But yesterday morning his voice was taken from him. Martinez was stabbed in front of his friend's house at the corner of West and Jose Maria Nunez Streets in Punta Gorda. Martinez and his attacker exchanged a few heated words outside his friend's house which led to the stabbing. Martinez's was struck 3 times.

Insp. Francis Zuniga, Deputy OC, PG Police
"They had an encounter. As a result of that encounter the person inflicted the stab wounds to Mr. Martinez."

Eden Martinez, Father
"I was at home when about 12:15 I got a call that he has been stabbed and he was being move over to the PG hospital. When I got there I couldn't have gone in to the emergency area because the doctors were working feverishly to try to stabilize him and after about 45 minutes that's when I was informed that he had passed when they were trying to get him stabilize."

"When I first heard it I didn't realize that it was that bad. So while I was out there I was waiting patiently, didn't know the gravity of it until when I was told that he had passed and I am still in shock."

Martinez's girlfriend Tianne Figueroa was also stabbed 8 times by the same attacker moments earlier at her home. But she survived.

The attacker, is wanted suspect Simeon Lino, who is according to reports, Figueroa's ex-boyfriend. The information is that Martinez and Figueroa had been in a relationship since February but Lino couldn't accept that Figueroa had left him and it all turned bloody in this love triangle.

But the circumstances of Martinez's murder seem so trivial, it's the end to a music man who was loved and appreciated not only by his family and friends but by the entire community.

Eden Martinez, Father
"He is a very loving son and he is close to his brothers and his sisters and his family. And he has a lot of friends, lots of friends. Lascelle is that cool person, he would just be the person of there is any argument, once it becomes too rowdy he moves away. In terms of in the community with his music, that is his passion."

That passion could surely be heard in every note, and could be felt in every stroke of his keyboard…a singular experience the Punta Gorda community will cherish.

Eden Martinez, Father
"The community is shaken up. We are mourning the loss of an icon in this town and we will miss him." The suspect Simeon Lino is still on the run - and talk in the town is that he may have absconded to Labuga, Guatemala. Figueroa is still recovering from her injuries and is in a stable condition.

Channel 7

Love Triangle, Jealousy and Murder in P.G.

Police in Punta Gorda are looking for a man who stabbed popular musician Lascelle Martinez to death on Wednesday morning.� He has been identified as Simon Lino, who is on the lam.� Martinez was having lunch when Lino turned up at his house and after an exchange of words, he stabbed him multiple times on the back. The musician, who was the son of a former government minister Peter Eden Martinez, attempted to get away but did not get far when he collapsed. But just before the fatal stabbing, Lino used the same knife on Tiannie Figueroa, the woman at the center of the love triangle. She remains hospitalized as police look for the jealous killer.� News Five's Isani Cayetano headed to Punta Gorda today and files the following report.

Peter Eden Martinez, Father of Deceased

"Lascelle is a very vibrant fellow.� He's an excellent musician, you know.� I thought him how to play the keyboard for quite some time.� I think he was still in high school when I thought him.� Really, he is my last son and we are very, very close, you know."

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Popular Belizean musician Lascelle Martinez, son of former UDP Toledo East Area Representative Peter Eden Martinez, has been murdered.� The fatal stabbing incident took place here, at a residence on Victoria Street on Wednesday around midday.� His best friend and roommate Ainslie Valerio was at home when the tragic incident unfolded.

Ainslie Valerio, Roommate of Deceased

"About eleven-thirty or eleven-thirty-five more or less, I was getting ready to go to work.� I mi di iron up and thing so.� So about five minutes before I start iron wahn vehicle reach in front ah mi house noh.� So I come outside and I sih wahn red Ford Ranger vehicle park in front ah mi house.� So I come outside and I ask the young man, "Weh gaan on mi bally?"� Ih seh, "Bwai Ducky, or mi bally I could, Lascelle di deh?"� I tell ahn yes, "Lascelle is having lunch."

Ducky, as Martinez's best friend is otherwise known, went back inside the house to inform him that someone outside was asking to see him.� Martinez was having lunch at the time and set aside his meal to see who the visitor was.� That individual was identified as Simon Lino, someone who, it turns out, wasn't too fond of Martinez.

Ainslie Valerio

"What caught my attention is like when I hyah Lascelle eena wahn voice and seh, "Well da you haffi talk to yo lady."� And that caught my attention, so I open di screen door.� So as soon as Lascelle seh, "Bwai da haffi talk to yo lady," Lascelle turn his back towards my door fu come inside fi like avoid problems, you know.� So I gaan and I unplug mi iron and I walk outside, but during that time he mussi mi done grab ih knife fu inflict my friend eena ih back noh."

And that's exactly what happened next.� Simon Lino, having attacked the young woman in question moments earlier, proceeded to stab Martinez at least two or three times while his back was turned towards him.

Ainslie Valerio

"I saw the second stab.� I saw when he� Da di third stab I throw wahn towel in front ah him, you know.� I mih wahn stone di iron eena ih face but di towel just come offa di board, cause di knife gaan through the towel also.� So I look around fih anything else weh I could defend myself too because I done know fi he mind done change pan me.� So by the time I gaan fi pick up wahn bottle or wahn rock, he jump eena ih vehicle and he drive off towards more Victoria Street."

The sudden attack caught both roommates by surprise.� When Ainslie checked on his friend afterwards, he was nowhere to be seen.� Mortally wounded, Lascelle had jumped through the back window of the house and ran towards West Street before collapsing shortly thereafter.

Insp. Francis Zuniga, Deputy O.C., Punta Gorda Police

"We received information of a person being at the accident and emergency ward, Punta Gorda Town.� As a result of that information, Punta Gorda police visited the emergency ward at the PG Hospital, where a male person was seen with stab wounds being treated by the medical practitioners."

Sadly, the musician, a mainstay at Waluco's Restaurant and Bar, would not survive the deadly encounter.

Peter Eden Martinez

"Just after a quarter past twelve I received a call that he had been injured and I proceeded to the hospital where he was in emergency.� It wasn't until about forty-five minutes afterwards that's when the doctors informed me that he had passed and that they tried their best to stabilize him but to no avail.� So he succumbed at just about a quarter to one, I think it was."

Martinez passed away at the Punta Gorda Hospital.� The young woman, twenty-year-old Tiannie Figueroa, whom he was allegedly killed for, was also stabbed multiple times outside of her home on VOA Road moments earlier.

Michelle Polonio, Cousin of Stabbing Victim

"All ah we just mi deh sihdown underneath the coconut tree and she and di young man mi di gat some kinda conversation and then afta dat he tell ahn once she noh give ahn wahn next chance dat how she noh wahn end up with nobody else.� Then afta dat Tiannie tell ahn dat how she and he done.� So dah then he get vex and he haul out di knife from outta ih back pocket and then Tiannie run then she drop ya and then he staat stab up ahn with di knife pan ih leg and side yah and pan ih hand."

Isani Cayetano

"When you guys saw that happening, what was your immediate reaction to try to either rescue Tiannie from her attacker or try to get him away from her?"

Michelle Polonio

"Well, all ah we try run towards the young man weh mi gat di knife and try help and pick up a weapon but he mi wahn attack all ah we.� Then wahn young man weh mi deh ya, he pick up my nephew [toy] car and then he stone it toppa ahn and da soh he end up di drop di knife and then he pick it up and then he just gaan eena ih car and ride off."

�to confront Martinez about his affair with Tiannie Figueroa.� The tragic outcome has left Martinez dead, Figueroa admitted to ward at the Southern Regional Hospital in stable condition and their attacker on the run from the law. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Accused Simon Lino May Have Fled to Guatemala

Alleged murderer Simon Lino is wanted by police for fatally stabbing Lascelle Martinez and seriously injuring his ex-girlfriend during a brutal attack on Wednesday in Punta Gorda.� Lino, it is strongly believed, may have fled the country to nearby Guatemala.� Inspector Frank Zuniga refrained from making a connection between Martinez and Tiannie Figueroa.� He did, however, inform the media that Interpol has been notified should their suspect turn up in another jurisdiction.

Insp. Francis Zuniga, Deputy O.C., Punta Gorda Police

"That individual is still at large and police are seeking that person.� Wanted posters have been posted and we are seeking public assistance in having this person in custody."

Isani Cayetano

"If one were to connect both incidents, you have one common denominator, as we would say, Simon Lino, at the center of these two incidents, the stabbing inflicted upon Tiannie Figueroa and the stabbing inflicted upon Lascelle Martinez.� It has been brought forward unofficially that this may have been a case of jealousy."

Insp. Frank Zuniga

"I'm not going to say that or get into that."

Isani Cayetano

"What are your investigations showing since you have one common factor who is involved in both of these incidents?"

Insp. Frank Zuniga

"The investigation is still at its young stage Isani, so I'm not going to divulge any information as to what may have triggered that incident to occur yesterday."

Isani Cayetano

"My final question to you, given the geographic location of this town, you have a border crossing at Jalacte and you have a border crossing going to Livingston.� You mentioned that a bulletin had been issued for the arrest of Mr. Lino, has there been one extended to your counterparts in Guatemala?"

Insp. Frank Zuniga

"Yes, through Interpol, that has been done."

Murder Victim Warned Over Relationship

While Inspector Zuniga stopped short of making any connections, Martinez's roommate confirms that he was indeed in a love triangle where the young woman was involved with both Martinez and Lino.� Valerio says he warned his best friend on previous occasions to stay clear of the young lady.

Ainslie Valerio, Roommate of Deceased

"I believe she was involved with both of them.� That's what I thought about because if she noh wahn di deal with two a dehn then this wouldn't happen.� Prior to that deh he mi di give mih wahn early mawnin story about what transpired eena di night because I work dah BelCampo wahn bartender and when I come from work, you know, I exhausted, I tiad, you know.� So I go straight to rest and the same night he went to play for a wake in Forest Home and I was at home sleeping and when I woke up he gave me the, you know, what transpired between he and them.� That said morning I told him right in the other sofa I was sitting on, da di same thing I tell him, mi bredda stop deal wid da young lady. �Just move on with your life and leff da young lady alone because dah young lady noh know what she want.� Just straight up I tell di man.� Dehn he tell me, "Ya, da true bwai breds, I wahn listen to yo."

Channel 5

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Search Continues for Accused P.G. Killer Simon Lino

Punta Gorda police are still looking for Simon Lino, accused of last Wednesday's brutal stabbing murder of popular musician Lascelle Martinez. Lino is believed to have fled to neighboring Guatemala; however, police have issued an arrest warrant and INTERPOL notice with their Guatemalan counterparts. Martinez was having lunch when Lino turned up at his house and after an exchange of words; he stabbed him multiple times in the back. The Coolie Rebels band member and son of former government minister Peter Eden Martinez attempted to get away, but did not get far before he collapsed. Just before the fatal stabbing, Lino used the same knife on his former partner Tiannie Figueroa, the woman at the center of the love triangle. She remains hospitalized in stable condition as police look for the jealous killer.

Channel 5

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