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Bloody weekend out west, two murders

GeneralBloody weekend out west, two murders

Photo: Anthony Smith, deceased

by Charles Gladden

CAYO DISTRICT, Mon. July 1, 2024

Two men were murdered in the Cayo District over the weekend. They were identified as 37-year-old Paul Arthurs of Ontario Village, and 30-year-old Anthony Smith, who was murdered in Santa Elena Town.

It is being claimed by some sources that on Saturday night, June 29, after 9:00 p.m., Arthurs allegedly attempted to drown his ex-girlfriend, who then shouted for help. The young woman’s brother, who was in the area intervened and began to struggle with Arthurs, and during that struggle Arthurs was stabbed multiple times.

He was taken to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, where he was pronounced dead minutes later.

There are reports which are indicating, however, that Arthurs and his alleged female victim were no longer romantically involved. The family of Arthurs confirmed that they were indeed a couple, but in a complicated relationship. The couple lived in separate homes; Arthurs resided in Ontario Village, and his purported girlfriend in Blackman Eddy.

Fiona Brown, the niece of Arthurs, told reporters that the pair had been living together for some years, but subsequently had been living in separate homes and still maintaining their relationship. Brown claimed that the young woman had cheated on him in the past, which caused them to argue, and she had been abusive towards him.

“From our understanding – because we heard from other people – that she indeed would step out of the relationship on him, and I know that has triggered some disputes to an extent,” she said. “There was that one time that I can recount, he came home and he told us that he had fallen off a small bicycle; and a few days later, he told his nephew [that] his girlfriend hit him on his arm with a bat,” Brown added.

While the couple reportedly lived in separate homes, Arthurs would visit his girlfriend in Blackman Eddy regularly; and at the time he was killed he had been in the village to attend the young woman’s birthday party, but his family believes that he was set up.

“He went to Blackman because they were in an ongoing relationship. Some of the guys from Blackman invited him to her birthday party. Then he wasn’t paying her any mind, and she came and invited [him] to socialize with her, and something happened – from our understanding, another male that she had been in a relationship with was around – so we don’t know if it was because he came by they were trying to chase him, and a fight broke out and they ganged up on him,” Brown said.

“… How you as a female say somebody that you’re not with, go to your house where [you] have an army of brothers and claim that they’ll take you to the river to drown you. They claim that he threatened to drown her, and the river is very far from the home. There is no way that he could’ve gotten access to her if she didn’t want to be with him that night.” Brown further mentioned.

Additionally, Brown noted that the family wishes they could have stepped in if they saw something wrong happening.

“I think that’s our only regret as a family, not stepping in. We left him alone to do his own thing, so that’s what we observed from the relationship,” she said.

According to ACP Hilberto Romero, Regional Commander of the Belize Police Department Eastern Division, the file containing the details of the incident has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for further review.

Then on Sunday, June 30, Anthony Smith, a Santa Elena resident, was gunned down while he stood in front of China Town Store.

Initial reports are indicating that Smith was sitting in front of the establishment when a motorcycle drew near. Thereafter, a male person dismounted the motorcycle and fired multiple gunshots at him, which fatally wounded him. He died at the scene.

ACP Romero told reporters that the murder of Smith is a result of a misunderstanding he had with another individual, and several persons are in custody.

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