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Francisco Rodriguez Charged for Killing Jacqueline Arteaga in Kimmie’s Fire Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 August 2014 00:00

Jacqueline Arteaga, 23, perished in a fire that destroyed four structures on Newtown Barracks early Wednesday morning, June 25. Arteaga was three months pregnant and was unable to flee from her apartment building which was located on the floor above Kimmie’s Bar. The fire was ruled an arson by investigators from the Belize Fire Service.

Police investigation led to the arrest of Francisco Rodriguez, 23, who is believed to be Arteaga’s cousin. Rodriguez was arrested when police foiled an extortion attempt upon an Orange Walk businessman by Edwin Flores on July 25. The men are believed to be members of the notorious MS-13 gang and during police interrogations Rodriguez allegedly implicated himself in the Kimmie’s arson. He also implicated himself in an armed robbery that took place in the Cayo District. Rodriguez was taken to court last week where he pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

On Friday, August 1, Rodriguez was brought to the Belize City Magistrates Court where he was arraigned on charges related to the Newton Barracks fire. Rodriguez is being charged with four counts of arson for setting a fire that destroyed the property of Marilyn Moreira, two properties for Peter, Emily, Lupita and Antonio Quan and a variety of household items and clothes for Therman Cabral. Rodriguez was also charged with murder for setting the fire that caused the death of Jacqueline Arteaga. He was unrepresented in court and Magistrate Herbert Panton explained that no plea will be taken since the matters will be dealt with on indictment.

Rodriguez was returned to prison to serve his sentence for robbery. He is due to reappear in court on September 29 for the charges of arson and murder.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 14:27