Man Charged With Murder in Slaying of Pro-Democracy Broadcasters
MIAMI (AP) _ A man was arrested and charged with murder for hire in the slayings of two pro-democracy Haitian broadcasters who investigators say were killed to silence them.
″The motive for this murder was simply the words that were spoken over the airwaves,″ Detective Ron Ilhardt said Friday in announcing the arrest.
Jean-Claude Olivier and Fritz Dor were the first of several Haitian pro- democracy activists attacked in Miami after Jean-Bertrand Aristide became Haiti’s first democratically elected president in December 1990.
Olivier was shot to death in 1991 as he left a club in Miami’s Little Haiti. Dor was killed 3 1/2 weeks later later while standing outside his office. Both were killed with the same gun, police said.
On Wednesday, Billy Alexander, a 24-year-old whose parents are Haitian, was arrested on charges including murder and conspiracy. He already is serving a life sentence for killing a man during a botched Fort Lauderdale robbery in 1991.
Authorities said Alexander was paid to kill the broadcasters, but they would not say who is suspected of paying him.
The defendants could get the electric chair or life in prison.
According to a police affidavit, the two broadcasters had urged listeners to boycott promotional events sponsored by record store owner Louis Thermitus.
The broadcasters described Thermitus as a ″Macoute″ - a supporter of the military regime that ousted Aristide. The broadcasters also accused officials of the regime of smuggling drugs into Little Haiti. Thermitus hasn’t been charged.
Lavarice Gaudin, head of the pro-democracy group Veye Yo, said Alexander’s arrest wasn’t enough.
″Now we are waiting to see the police arrest the master with the money,″ he said. ″That guy should get arrested and go to the electric chair.″
Police stopped short of calling the slayings political, but Assistant Chief John Brooks said the victims’ messages ″must have offended somebody.″
Arnie Premer, general manager of WKAT radio, said that listeners poured out their hearts on Dor’s talk show but that Dor never advocated overthrowing the government.
″He was for Aristide all the way, but he never once mentioned on the air any violence or anything that was not in good taste of radio,″ Premer said.
Olivier worked for another station, WLQY.
Olivier and Dor were killed shortly after the inauguration of Aristide, who was deposed by the military in September 1991. He returned to power last month.
Two other arrests have been made in the case.
Glossy Bruce Joseph, who confessed to being the lookout in the Dor killing, was sentenced earlier to 25 years for manslaughter and attempted murder.
Hitler Fleurinord was charged with murder after telling authorities he was the driver in the attack on Olivier.
Moses Durosier, who authorities said was in the getaway cars used during both shootings, told police Alexander was paid $2,000 to kill Olivier. Durosier identified Alexander as the gunman in both slayings.