Ne­vis Judge Grants Bail for Three Ac­cused of Mur­der

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL - By

LK Hewlett

Ne­vis High Court Judge Jus­tice Lorraine Wil­liams has granted bail for the three men charged with the Jan­uary 2008 shoot­ing mur­der of 28-year-old Leon “Gravo” Wester­man of Low Street, Ne­vis.

Asim “Wassie” Par­ris of Stoney Grove, Dex­ter “Pi­likin” Som­er­sall of Prick­ley Pear Al­ley, St. Kitts and Craig Hal­l­i­day of Sprott Street, St. Kitts were (on July 21) granted bail in the amount of $350,000 each.

The mur­der ac­cused have been the sub­jects of in­tense court bat­tles be­tween their de­fense at­tor­neys and the Crown pros­e­cu­tion. Ch­es­ley Hamil­ton and Mikia Mills rep­re­sented Hal­l­i­day, Dr. Henry Browne and Hes­keth Ben­jamin rep­re­sented Par­ris, and Mar­sha Hen­der­son and Saun­dra Hec­tor rep­re­sented Som­er­sall. Di­rec­tor of Public Pros­e­cu­tion Travers Si­nanan, and Crown Coun­sels Gio­vani James and Te­shaun Vasquez ar­gued for the Crown.

In April Jus­tice Wil­liams dis­charged the men af­ter rul­ing that a wit­ness de­po­si­tion taken via video link dur­ing the Pre­lim­i­nary In­quiry was in­ad­mis­si­ble as it had not been signed. Their free­dom was short-lived, how­ever, as the pros­e­cu­tion im­me­di­ately had the men re-ar­rested as they walked out of the court­room. Then it was found that the ar­rest war­rant was not prop­erly dated and the judge dis­charged the men once more. The pros­e­cu­tion se­cured new war­rants and the men were ar­rested for the sec­ond time in just over half an hour.

In her 18-page judg­ment Jus­tice Wil­liams ruled, “Hav­ing con­sid­ered all of the sub­mis­sions, fac­tors, author­i­ties and cir­cum­stances, I am per­suaded that the bal­ance lies in fa­vor of the grant of the bail rather than the re­fusal of bail to the ap­pli­cants.”

The bail con­di­tions are as fol­lows: bail in the sum of $350,000 each with two suit­able sureties of $175,000 each for each ap­pli­cant; ap­pli­cants are to sur­ren­der all travel doc­u­ments to the court pend­ing dis­posal of the crim­i­nal trial; Par­ris is to re­port to Charlestown po­lice sta­tion ev­ery day be­tween 6am and 5pm, while Som­er­sall and Hal­l­i­day must do the same at the Bas­seterre Po­lice Sta­tion; ap­pli­cants are not to have any con­tact with or in­ter­fere with any wit­ness or the di­rect fam­ily re­la­tions who are in­volved in the mat­ter, ei­ther by them­selves or through any of their agents act­ing on their be­half or with their en­cour­age­ment; ap­pli­cants are to keep the peace and be on good be­hav­ior; ap­pli­cants should not leave the ju­ris­dic­tion of St. Kitts and Ne­vis ex­cept with the per­mis­sion of the court show­ing proof of in­ten­tion to travel, pur­pose of travel, du­ra­tion of stay and date of re­turn to the ju­ris­dic­tion; and any breach of these con­di­tions will re­sult in im­me­di­ate re­vo­ca­tion of bail.

Crown Coun­sel James gave no­tice that the Crown would ap­peal the de­ci­sion with the Court of Ap­peal.

–St. Kitts Ne­vis Ob­server.

Lorraine Wil­liams

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