Crime — 28 December 2012 — by Miriam Longsworth

Grieving mother of victim says the accused was known to be a very mannerly young man. “But you look at people and you don’t know what kind of temper they have, what kind of things they are capable of doing.”

The life of 23-year-old Robert Alexander Pinnock, Jr., was cut short on Saturday, December 22, 2012, when he was stabbed to death by his cousin, Glenford Chavez, in Dangriga.

Amandala was told that both young men were socializing at a baby shower in the New Site Area of Dangriga when an altercation began between the two relatives. Witnesses said that they were not sure what triggered the argument, but they became fully aware of the squabble when it turned physical.

Gloria Mejia, mother of the victim, told Amandala that she is not exactly sure what transpired but she knows that her son was invited to a baby shower by a friend who was hosting the shower. She said her understanding of what happened is based only what she was told.

“They said that the young man told my son something, and my son punched him. The young man fell, but it seemed that my son didn’t pay any attention to him; he just turned his back and was talking again to the rest of friends,” she said. “And the next thing they saw, “ she went on to relate, “was when the boy came, not sure if it was a knife or what, and then it looked like he was punching my son.”

The witnesses said that it looked like Chavez was punching Pinnock, but they didn’t know that he was actually stabbing him. It was only when Pinnock held his hand on his chest that witnesses saw blood on his clothes.

According to witnesses, when Chavez finished stabbing Pinnock he fled the scene.

Witnesses say that while being taken to the Southern Regional Hospital, Pinnock was gasping for air and said that he felt cold. Pinnock succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at the Southern Regional.

“The doctors said that he was fighting for his life, but there was nothing they could have done for him,” said the grieving mother.

Mejia said that she was not aware of any problems that her son might have had with anyone, including Chavez. The last conversation she had with Pinnock was on the morning of Saturday, December 22, 2012, when they were discussing Christmas preparations.

“He asked me if I had my things to make my cakes, because he usually helps me,” Mejia said. “So I told him I was going to the store to finish buying the ingredients so we could make the cake tomorrow. I went to the store and bought the ingredients but when I got home he wasn’t there,” she said.

Mejia said she wasn’t too worried about her son not being home because he usually stayed with an uncle. She said it was later that day that she found out that Pinnock was invited to a baby shower. Mejia said that around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, her niece and husband met her at a function and told her that Pinnock had died.

“I asked her [niece] what happened and she said that his [Pinnock] cousin killed him,” Mejia said. “That’s his cousin; I don’t know what [problem] they have. The two of them are close, close friends. The young man [Chavez] goes to our house to look for him.”

Mejia said that her son had never been involved in any sort of situations before which would have led to his murder.

“Maybe he would get into minor problems and things like that but nothing to say that police arrested him,” she said. “You know how the youths would have their little misunderstandings among themselves, but nothing to say to take away a life,” she added.

One of Pinnock’s family members told Amandala that he has heard that Pinnock could be aggressive at times when drinking, but never saw something like this being a result of it. Amandala was also told that Chavez is known to “like his knife.” Regardless of that, both young men were said to have been respectable and got along well with each other.

“I found him [Chavez] as a nice person, a very mannerly little boy,” Mejia said. “But you look at people and you don’t know what kind of temper they have, what kind of things they are capable of doing. All I know he was a nice young man,” she said.

Mejia said the entire situation still puzzles her and it is difficult to cope with, but she said that Chavez and his family are her family and will always be.

According to witnesses, Chavez was not invited to the baby shower but ended up at the event because he was acquainted with some of the other people who were guests there.

A post-mortem of Pinnock’s body was scheduled for today, Thursday.

Pinnock’s family said that after the post-mortem is conducted funeral arrangements will be made. Pinnock was a student of Stann Creek Ecumenical College Evening Division. He is the fifth of nine children for his mother. He worked with his older brother reading meters and delivering bills for Belize Electricity Limited.

Mejia said that she is saddened by the crime situation in the country.

“It grieves my heart to see all the youths killing each other,” she said. “My heart grieves with the parents of these youths. What happened to the young people today? I watch the news and I see all the killings, not knowing the next victim would be me.”

Amandala contacted Dangriga police for comments but was unable to speak to the investigating officer. Dangriga Police did say that Chavez was charged with murder in the Dangriga Magistrate Court today, Thursday, and was remanded to the Hattieville Prison.

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