Headline — 25 June 2016 — by Rowland A. Parks and Albert J. Ciego
Shot for refusing to commit a crime!

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 23, 2016–One of two men who allegedly shot another man in Belize City on Monday night appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning and was arraigned on attempted murder and related indictable offences. He was remanded to prison.

Anthony Crawford was not required to make a plea, after the charges were read to him by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, because his case will be tried at the Supreme Court on indictment.

Police charged Crawford with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm.

Crawford, 33, an unemployed resident of Antelope Street Extension, is accused of being one of the two men who shot Anthony “Columbian” Leslie, 40, in the chest on Monday night, June 20, while he was on Iguana Street Extension.

Leslie is now fighting for his life in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

ACP Chester Williams, Commander of Belize City Southside Police, said at a Wednesday press briefing that at about 7:00 Monday night, Leslie was approached by a man later identified as Anthony Crawford, who tried to force him into helping him carry out some crimes, but Leslie refused, and the gunman then took out a gun and shot Leslie in the chest.

People in the area quickly rushed Leslie to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit, where doctors performed surgery on him. He has since been admitted to ward, where he is recovering.

ACP Williams said that their investigation of the shooting led to Anthony Crawford, who was arrested on Tuesday after “Columbian” identified him to police as one of the two men who shot him on Monday night while he was standing in front of his home, located at 7026 Iguana Street Extension.

The Commander said that they are seeking the second man, who is known to them.

Williams said that Leslie’s shooting was not gang-related, but was the result of his refusal to take part in committing a crime.

In addition to the indictable offences for which he did not have to enter a plea, Crawford was charged with possession of a controlled drug, which was found in his possession today, Thursday.

He pleaded guilty to that offence and Magistrate Mendoza sentenced him to serve one month in prison for 3.6 grams of cannabis that police found in a sweater he was wearing in the cell.
Court records also show that Crawford had a previous drug conviction from 2015 for which he was fined $105, but he did not pay that fine. So Magistrate Mendoza’s one-month sentence is to run concurrently with the additional month Crawford would have to spend for failure to pay his court fine.

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