Daylight murders in Belize City Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 18 August 2011 00:00

Two Belize City men are dead after they were executed in broad daylight within their comfort zones. What makes it even more ominous for the City is that these two young men had just recently beaten murder charges. They are Trenton Smith, 29, a resident of Sarstoon Street, and Charles Woodye, 24, a resident of Dolphin Street.

On Friday of last week, just before midday, Trenton Smith was at a friend’s house on Johnson Street, when death came for him; it was reported that Smith frequents that house. Eyewitnesses say that a gunman, whose identity remains unknown to the media, walked off Johnson Street, went into the yard, and up the stairs of the 2nd flat board house.

The gunman met Trenton Smith sitting in a chair about to take a smoke; he then let loose a barrage of shots which hit Smith in the right side of the face below the ear, the left side of the neck, and the right shoulder. Smith was ambushed, and he died where he was sitting.

The gunman then escaped the scene he had created, and left investigators who arrived soon after with the task of processing, and transporting Smith’s body to the morgue.

Then on Sunday, two days later, at around 3 p.m., Charles Woodye was murdered inside the Waree/Dolphin Street Fire Station, which is just across the street from his house, and a stone’s throw away from the Raccoon Street Police Headquarters.

Eyewitnesses say that Woodye was in the fire station playing dominoes as he always does on Sundays with a few of the firefighters. There were some of the firefighters watching the game.

This particular gunman, who witnesses say wore only a cap pulled low over his face, and who kept his head down the entire time, came off Dolphin Street and hid behind one of the firefighters. He then marked Woodye from the crowd of people; pulled out a firearm and fired several shots in Woodeye’s direction. He then ran off the same direction he came, and escaped.

Woodye suffered several gunshot wounds to the chest area, and was quickly rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. He died a little while later due to his extensive wounds.

As was reported earlier, both men had just beaten a murder charge. Smith was acquitted on July 26th, 2011 in his second trial for the 2007 murder of Tyrone Castillo. In the first trial, the main witness testified to the court that he witnessed Smith shooting Castillo in the back. Smith defended himself against that testimony by producing an alibi witness who said that Smith was at home at the time, and he could not have committed that murder.

In the second trial last month, the main witness, who had given a sworn police statement, and who testified in the first trial denied everything he previously said, and told the court that he ran when he heard the first shot and couldn’t see who shot Castillo.

The prosecutor requested of the judge that the witness be treated as hostile, and it was granted. However, in the end, without that witness corroborating the story presented to the court, the case unraveled and Smith walked.

In Woodye’s case, he was charged for the 2009 murder of John Paul Saldivar on Northern Ambergris Caye; he was charged together with Micah Thompson, and reputed George Street figure, Sheldon “Pinky” Tillett.

In January 2010, the case was dropped after the prosecution couldn’t present the court with enough evidence against the men; they ended up walking.
All three men then decided to sue the Attorney General for wrongful imprisonment and false arrest; that lawsuit started on July 13th, 2011.

The families of both Smith and Woodye have steadfastly refused to comment to the media, but it was reported that Woodye was gainfully employed and that he is a father of a 2 months-old baby girl.

The murder of these men signals another eruption of violence in Belize City. It is not for a citizen to take justice into their own hands and execute people they have deemed guilty, nor is it appropriate for society to have these gunmen put people down because of any rivalry.