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Screen_Shot_2014-04-14_at_7.46.01_PMWas it murder or was 50 year old Edison Johnson protecting his property and his life from criminals? That’s the question that looms in the minds of Johnson’s family. The 50 year old resident of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District was arrested and charged for double murder after he fatally wounded two men who allegedly invaded his property and were about to burglarize his farm located approximately two miles outside of Carmelita Village.

While police found the dead body of 23 year old Carmelita resident Luke Cox on Friday night, the body of 24 year old Rhaburn Ridge Village resident Saul Garcia was not found until the following morning. It is a complicated situation, so much so, that even the DPP had to be involved. And since the double murder has left more questions than answers, CTV3 News’ reporter Maria Novelo took a closer look at what transpired on that deadly Friday night. Here is her story.


Maria Novelo – Reporting

Rosita Johnson  – Wife of Edison Johnson

“My two place mi have mi beds, mi bureau, everything in my house…then mi farm, no like this…with mi coconut, everything gawn, nothing, mi zinc…I woulda never think I woulda picture this…wasted so much years working… Dat da just yu know yu seh yu deh work fu have something…all yu lee money yu invest inna di place."

In a span of one week, opportunistic thieves raided and ransacked these two houses that are located on this 45 acre farm belonging to the Johnson’s family. The farm is located in the outskirts of Carmelita Village and several times has fallen victim to the hands of thieves while the family was away. Apparently the same scenario was to play out on Friday night only that this time, 50 year old Edison Johnson, the owner of the farm was at home. It was while making routine checks on the farm that Johnson encountered two men burglarizing his property.

Dennis Arnold - Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police

“He heard a vehicle come in so he was still at the farm apparently the vehicle was a red double cab vehicle, it has reversed into his property and two men alighted that vehicle upon seeing the two person alighting the vehicle Johnson yelled at them and apparently the persons, they tried to escape, he had made mentioned that he fired in their direction and saw one of them fell to the ground. The man driving the truck escaped.”

Edison_JOHNSONWhen police arrived at the farm, they met with Johnson who handed over (1) 12 gauge shotgun, (2) 12 gauge cartridges and his gun license. They saw one male person lying face down with pellet wounds to the lower back, left upper back and below the ear. He was identified as 23 year old Luke Cox of Carmelita. While Johnson had reported to police that he saw two men raiding his property, it wasn’t until the following day that the body of the other alleged ‘burglar’ was found, some 300 yards from where the incident occurred.

Dennis Arnold - Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police

“The body of another male person was seeing lying face up with appears to be pellet wounds to the back also, he had received pellet wounds to the lower back and to the center the center of his back that male person his name was learnt to be Saul Garcia 24 year or Rhaburn Ridge village Orange Walk district.”

Authorities say between Saturday and Sunday they contacted the Director of Public Prosecutions, who gave them the directive to charge Johnston with murder.

Dennis Arnold - Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police

“Yesterday afternoon we had arrested and charged Edson Johnson, 50 years old of Guinea Grass Village for the crime of two counts of murder.”

Maria Novelo – Reporter

“Why is it considered a murder, if he is kind of defending his territory?”

Dennis Arnold - Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police

“Well, that I really can’t answer we were given directive from the DPP but I believe it was excessive force.”


Luke_COXBut Senior Counsel, Hubert Elrington, says the charge is an extremely unusual one and that because the farm is located in a remote area, the authorities could not respond when Johnston had informed police of the men on his property.

Hubert Elrington - Senior Counsel

“As you can see in a very, very remote area where there is only one single farm, the farm that belongs to the accused.  As you can see his Fleming house, farm house was properly vandalized the entire roof and the ceiling everything gone, furniture gone, everything and then just at sunset a part of people came in.  Spent the whole day from about ten o’clock here waiting for the police because he had just discovered that his house had been vandalized but the police are saying that they tried to find the location but they were unable to find it because it was so remote and just about the time he was leaving this vehicle with people came in and the incident occurred.  The police probably the police charge without speaking with the DPP and he DPP is the person who has the authority to judge or not the commissioner of police but it is rarely the Director of Public Prosecutions who can say charge or don’t charge so am sure within another week or two she will look at the file she always does and she will give us a reading on what she thinks so am hopeful that at least he will be released on a charge if anything of manslaughter and this murder charge will go away.”

Meanwhile, Johnson’s family is left devastated at the news of being robbed of their homes and the families’ ‘bread winner’ put away in jail for defending what’s theirs.

Rosita Johnson  – Wife of Edison Johnson

“You say you are working to have something and all your money you invest in the place because this was my husband plan to say well this is a retirement for him and in the days when he gets old then he could sale this and make something in life and say well this is what I worked for.”

Saul_GARCIA_of_Rhaburn_Ridge_Village._Seven pellet holes were found on the tailgate of this red pickup truck.

On the scene (1) 12 gauge expended cartridge was found. The licensed shotguns along with two 12 gauge cartridges were kept as exhibit. The bodies of 23 year old Luke Cox and 24 year old Saul Garcia were transported to the Northern Regional Hospital. Police say prior to the incident, Cox was wanted for 2 counts of harm and theft of two sheep and Saul Garcia had several procedures in court pending. Johnson was remanded until May 13th 2014. 

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