Headline — 12 August 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Indira Mejia, 29, charged with abetment to murder

BELIZE CITY—A Belize City businesswoman who has been in police custody since last Thursday was released on bail after she was arraigned this morning on one count of abetment to commit murder before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.

Indira Mejia, 29, appeared composed as Smith read the indictable charge to her and asked her if she understood the charge. Mejia replied that she understood the charge.

Police say she wanted to get rid of her common-law husband in order to get his property.

The incident for which Mejia was charged occurred on Wednesday, August 6, when Mejia’s common-law husband, Brian Clare, 57, was shot in the arm on Partridge Street Extension. Clare was driving a pickup truck when he was shot by two men who were riding on bicycles

The Court’s prosecutor told the Chief Magistrate that he would be objecting to the granting of bail to Mejia, due to the prevalence of the crime of which she is accused.

“I wish for Your Honor to take into consideration the prevalence of these crimes and Your Honor must take into consideration the public’s interest in these crimes,” the prosecutor said.

Mejia’s attorney, Kathleen Lewis, however, submitted that the offense is not listed in the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, and as such, the court could offer her client bail.

Lewis further submitted that bail is not a privilege; it is a right.

“The police have not fully investigated this crime, and my client is the mother of a one-year-old baby,” Lewis submitted.

Smith freed Mejia on a $2,000 bail and one surety of the same amount. She stipulated, however, that $500 of the bail would have to be cash.

As part of her bail condition, Mejia was ordered to surrender her passport and she is not to apply for any new travel document until the conclusion of the case.

Smith also ordered Mejia to report to the Queen Street Police Station, but Mejia informed the court that she would be going to Orange Walk Town to stay with her mother.

Smith then ordered her to report to the Orange Walk police station every Tuesday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

After she had posted bail, Mejia, in the presence of her attorney, Lewis, told Amandala that when she was picked up last Thursday, it was, according to what police told her, in connection with domestic violence.

When asked how it is that police have charged her with abetment to commit murder, Mejia said that she could not speak on that – only the police can do so, she declared.

“All I know is that on Wednesday, my husband called me to take my vehicle to a mechanic on Vernon Street,” she said.

Mejia added that she has no reason to want to kill her husband, because, she said, “I have nothing to gain by that.”

Mejia also denied knowing a suspect police have detained. She told Amandala that the first time that she met the suspect was at the police station.

Police, however, are confident that theirs is a strong case against Mejia. In a press briefing today, Monday, Sergeant Roberto Novelo told reporters that Mejia had attempted to get rid of her common-law husband so that she could get his property.

“Based on our investigation so far, she (Mejia) is the one who lured Mr. Brian Clare to that area where he was shot,” Novelo said.

Novelo said that a firearm which the police have recovered near the scene was used in the shooting.

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