BELIZE CITY, Fri. May 12, 2017–A Canadian man, John Deshaies, who was named as a possible suspect in the police’s investigation of a double murder in Corozal Town, but was remanded to prison on a charge of handling stolen goods, was freed this afternoon after he was offered and met bail in the Supreme Court of Justice Antoinette Moore during a bail application hearing.
Deshaies was picked up by police on May 2 after the bodies of Canadian Francesca Matus, 52, and her American boyfriend, Drew DeVoursney, 36, were discovered in a cane field on the outskirts of Chan Chen, Corozal. The couple had been strangled.
The discovery of the murdered couple attracted international media attention, and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offered investigative assistance to Belize police in an effort to solve the murders.
Deshaies, 54, however, was charged with theft and burglary for allegedly stealing over $50,000 worth of electronic equipment from a casino in Placencia when he appeared earlier this week in the Independence Magistrate’s Court and was arraigned on the charge and remanded to prison.
Justice Moore offered bail to Deshaies in the sum of $20,000. Justice Moore also stipulated that a Belizean surety must sign on behalf of Deshaies, who, reportedly, has been living in Belize for about two years with his girlfriend and two children.
The bail condition also stated that Deshaies is to appear at all adjournments of his case in the Independence Magistrate’s Court. He is to report to the Corozal Police Station every Friday, beginning next Friday, May 19, until his matter is disposed of, and he has been ordered to stay away from prosecution witnesses in the case. Also, whilst on bail, he is not to be arrested for any other offense, but if arrested, he is to be brought before a Supreme Court judge at the earliest possible time.
While waiting to for his bail to be processed, Deshaies told Amandala that he regrets that his name has become entangled with the public coverage and investigation of the crimes he’s accused of committing.
“I wish people would focus on finding the right people who did this,” he remarked.
Referring to the double murder, Deshaies said, “The Corozal police have done a complete investigation of me. I’ve given them everything they asked me for. I’ve given the FBI DNA samples, and all the information they’ve asked me for. My attorney told me that I was cleared from the murder investigation. I was locked up, so I don’t know, but I have done nothing, so I expected to be cleared,” Deshaies explained.
Deshaies said that he has been in police custody for 10 days and only once was he allowed a change of clothing, and it was just before he was interviewed by FBI agents.
John Deshaies was Francesca Matus’ tenant, and lived in the lower flat of her house, located in Consejo Shores, Corozal. Matus lived in the upper flat of the house.