Crime — 29 August 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks

BELIZE CITY–A Belize City teenager who was wanted by police was charged for a recent murder in Cayo, where he had apparently been in hiding, and was then brought to the Magistrate’s Court and arraigned on attempted murder and dangerous harm charges before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith late yesterday, Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Joseph Vaccaro, Jr., 19, had been charged in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court with the August 16 murder of Unitedville resident Victor Vargas, 38, who died from multiple stab wounds to his neck.

Vaccaro was seen hanging out with the older man, Vargas, prior to his murder, and investigators believe that they have gathered enough evidence to charge him for the murder.

Vargas was stabbed twice in the neck after he got into an altercation with Vaccaro, who was apprehended in Belmopan and taken to the San Ignacio Police Station, where he was questioned before the murder charge was laid on him.

While he was in the custody of the police’s Western Formation, it was learned that Vaccaro was also wanted for another stabbing incident in Belize City that occurred on January 16, in the Lake Independence area.

No plea was taken from Vaccaro when the Chief Magistrate arraigned him for the attempted murder and dangerous harm against Christian Martinez, 15.

Smith remanded Vaccaro to prison; he is due back in court on September 1.

On January 16, sometime between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., Christian Martinez was standing at the corner of Lacroix Boulevard and Balam Street when a car in which four men were traveling stopped in front of him.

The occupants of the car got out and they attacked Martinez; one of the men stoned him with a maul, which caught him in the back. They then stabbed him multiple times in the shoulder with an ice pick. Martinez’s mother subsequently rushed him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was hospitalized.

Shortly after the incident, police charged three men, Joseph Vaccaro, 54, the father of Joseph Vaccaro, Jr.; Rupert Garnett, 34, and Kenrick Crawford, 33, with the attempted murder of Martinez and dangerous harm to him.

All three men were remanded to prison when they were first arraigned on the charges.

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