Latest — 31 January 2018 — by Micah Goodin
Jessie Mejia, 24, and Darwin Estuardo Prado, 20, arraigned for the murders of Marlon Spain, 25, and Casey Lozano, 24

LADYVILLE, Belize District, Mon. Jan. 29, 2018– Police have formally arrested and charged Ladyville residents Jessie Mejia, 24, and Darwin Estuardo Prado, 20, for the murders of Marlon Spain, 25, and Casey Lozano, 24.

The accused men were also charged for gunshot injuries suffered by Sidney Humes, 47, and Johan Gray, 22.

On Friday, they appeared before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser, who booked them on charges of two counts of murder, two counts of use of deadly means of harm, one count of wounding and one count of grievous harm.

No plea was taken from them, and they were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 26, 2018.

Police believe Mejia and Prado were the two gunmen who climbed through some high bushes around a swamp to ambush a group of men who were socializing in front of the residence of one of the victims on Marage Road in Ladyville.

Lozano’s mother, Cynthia Lozano, told our newspaper that her son had just left her home about two minutes before the shots rang out.

Randolph Spain, a brother of the slain Marlon Spain, who is also an uncle to Johan Gray, who was injured in the shooting, told Amandala that Marlon had just stepped outside his house with a cup of water when he was shot in the head.

According to him, Gray was seated around the table in his kitchen having supper when he was shot.

Humes, a passerby, was hit by a stray bullet, police reported.

Lozano’s mother alleged to Amandala that the shooting was in connection with the March 2016 shooting murder of Rene “Fat Cat” Chavarria, 26, who lost his life, also on Marage Road.

Since Chavarria’s murder, there have been several murders that are gang-related, police sources say.

In May 2016, Prado had been jointly charged with Egbert Baldwin, 29, for a shooting at the Lozano’s residence in which one of their accomplices, Lionel Rhamdas, 21, was shot dead.

Jessie Mejia had also made news in 2016 for allegedly chopping two brothers. Last year he was booked for allegedly shooting Edward McKay, 27, in Ladyville. Both matters are still before the court.

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