Nevis Judge Grants Bail for Three Accused of Murder
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.