BELIZE CITY. Fri. Jan. 10, 2020– Three inmates of the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville made a run for freedom at about 12:30 Wednesday, May 8, 2019, but the run was short-lived for two of them.
Virjilio Murrillo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Central Prison, told Amandala that the three prisoners who made a dash for freedom from behind the prison’s walls were Wilser Echeverria, 25, of Belmopan, who is on remand awaiting trial for murder; Rafael Mencias, 25, of Corozal Town, who is serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter for the death of Philip Hall of Corozal; and Christian Neal, 25, of Toledo, who was in prison for two counts of robbery and one count of carnal knowledge.
Echeverria and Mencias were recaptured about two hours after the breakout in an area near the prison. They were flushed out after the area was set on fire. They then gave up and were recaptured and charged with escaping from lawful custody. They were given an additional one-year prison sentence on top of their present sentence in May 2019 before Magistrate Emerson Banner.
Neal, however, managed to elude prison authorities and police, and went on the run for about 7 months from May when he escaped, until Boxing Day, December 26.
Two policemen who were in plain clothes saw him in the town and began to follow him, and he went to an area on the riverside, and that was when they closed in on him and arrested him. Neal did not recognize them because they were in civilian clothing, and he did not have time to react to the arrest.
Neal was returned to his cell in prison, after which he was charged by Hattieville police with escape from lawful custody. Today, he was taken to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where he appeared before Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts Anderson and pleaded guilty for the offense.
The guilty plea was accepted and Neal was given a 1-year jail sentence in addition to the 28 years he is presently serving.
Murillo said he was grateful that Mencias and Echeverria had been recaptured, because they were considered very dangerous.
Murillo said that Neal, however, was not considered dangerous.
Feature photo: Christian Neal