Two charged in connection with shooting of 16-year-old minor Print E-mail
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Thursday, 27 October 2011 00:00

A minor was shot on September 27th in Belize City on a busy and heavily trafficked street and his prognosis for recovery was grim as he was shot to the head. The 16-year-old, Justin Stevens, also known as “Justin Teck”, a resident of the Freetown area miraculously survived  and police have charged two men in connection with the shooting.

On Monday October 24th, 21-year-old Michael Gladden, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street in the Port Loyola area of Belize City along with Mark Gentle, 28, a laborer of Belize City were charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate, Anna Marie Smith, for their alleged involvement in the shooting of the minor.

Police investigations concluded that Gladden was the gunman who fired one of three shots that caught the minor in his head. He was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Gladden was additionally charged jointly with Gentle for the crime of conspiracy to commit murder.  Allegations are that the two acted together with a common purpose to commit the crime of murder of Stevens.

No plea was taken from the duo who were told that all the charges are being dealt with on indictment and that at a given time, a preliminary inquiry will be held and if there is sufficient evidence, their case will be committed to the Supreme Court and that’s where a plea will be taken.

The Magistrate further explained to them that due to the nature of the crimes, they cannot be granted bail at this time, but that it is their right to seek bail through the Supreme Court since the magistrate’s court cannot grant bail at this time until after 90 days on remand.

In court, the men were unrepresented and they were both remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 24th.

On September 27th, at about 12:00 midday, the busy afternoon traffic came to a halt when a lone gunman open fire at 16-year-old Justin Stevens while he was on Freetown Road.  Stevens was shot once to the head.  He was captured on a camera which showed that on impulse the youth tried to get up after being shot, but personnel of the Emergency Management Team (EMT) and BERT assisted him and placed him into the ambulance where he was rushed to the KHMH for treatment.