Carnal Knowledge Charge leads to Teenager’s Death Print E-mail
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Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00

Rasheed ElijioOn Tuesday, May 7th, 18-year-old Punta Gorda resident, Rasheed Elijio was arrested and charged after he was found inside a house with his 15-year-old girlfriend. The minor was taken to the Punta Gorda Police Station along with her mother where she confessed to police that she has had sexual intercourse with Elijio on seven separate occasions. Elijio was then charged with carnal knowledge.

At 5 a.m. on Friday, May 10th, Elijio was to be transported to the Belize Central Prison with another detainee, Brian Garcia, who was charged for carnal knowledge and Lino Ical, who was charged for drug trafficking. Garcia and Elijio were handcuffed together and as the men were being boarded on a James Bus they dashed out and escaped from police. Police launched a search operation and a little over 3 hours later the escapees were seen in the Carib Reserve Area. At 8:30 a.m., Police Constable David Griffith called the police station to report that Elijio had been caught but was shot in the process. Elijio was transported to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Elijio’s family is upset because they believe that lethal force was not necessary in the pursuit. They add that Elijio was not arrested for any violent offense and did not deserve to die. There has been no confirmation that David Griffith was the shooter but his name has caused public rage since he had been previously accused by the Murillo family of killing Teddy Murillo in 2010. The Belize Police Department has selected Superintendent Robert Mariano to lead an internal investigation into the shooting incident. According to Commissioner of Police, Allan Whylie, there are internal and criminal investigations taking place simultaneously. Commissioner Whylie says that at the end of the investigation, the evidence in the case will be forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution where a decision will be made if there is to be any charges levied against police officers. He said that Superintendent Mariano has confirmed that multiple officers have confessed to firing their weapons but none of them have claimed responsibility for shooting Elijio. Mariano is hoping that a ballistics analysis will determine which firearm was responsible for Elijio’s death. He said, “I can guarantee everybody that as soon as we get the results, a police officer will be arrested.”