By Marion Ali
Edwin Paula, 30, the suspected mastermind behind a series of bold armed hold-ups, including one at the dorms at the University of Belize in 2013, is back in custody after a two-month-long run for freedom.
Paula, who escaped while being transported from the prison to the Belmopan court, and who police suspected had left the country, was recaptured around 2 a.m. on Thursday based on police intelligence.
According to Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police Formation, Superintendent Howell Gillette, the unemployed man of San Martin area, Belmopan, was nabbed at a hotel in the Salvapan area of Belmopan while in the company of Martha Vasquez. She now faces a charge of “harbouring a criminal”, while Paula faces a charge of escape, in addition to charges to murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery.
The murder and attempted murder charges stem from an armed robbery on June 1, 2013, at La Chazo Bar in Las Flores, Belmopan.
In that incident, Isabel Antonio Balona was stabbed to death, and Manuel Aquino was shot in the leg when they tried to thwart the robbery. The other three youths charged were Manuel Hernandez, Rasheed Crespo and Rudy Santos, all fourth form students at the Belmopan Comprehensive School who were slated to graduate.