Will St. Rose be Set Free?
After spending six years on remand at the Bordelais Correctional Facility, the murder trial of Jonathan St. Rose, Lynden Blasse and Marvin Terry Nelson finally got under in February 2015. The three were charged in the February 2009 murder of Dwayne “Chubby” James. However, after several adjournments and delays the case was inconclusive in May of 2015.
The jury failed to arrive at a unanimous verdict resulting in a mistrial. The then DPP Victoria Charles-Clarke later stated that she would request a retrial. The DPP subsequently went on retirement and several delays were experienced in arriving at a date for a new trial. The STAR learnt earlier this year that the case would be retried in May.
On Tuesday May 31st St. Rose appeared in court but the matter was adjourned because the prosecutor reportedly had in his possession the wrong file. He returned on Wednesday when a lesser plea of manslaughter was entered in exchange for a reduction in sentence.
The STAR has been informed that lawyers and advisors for St. Rose have encouraged the acceptance of the manslaughter charge in the hope that he will be released for “time served.” This, according to sources, is based on precedence, which was set earlier this year when a French national was set free on a charge of manslaughter.
On March 16th, 2016 French national Eric Sommer was sentenced by Justice Margaret Price-Findlay after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was charged with causing the death of Lucas Francois at Pigeon Island on May 12th, 2012 and had been on remand without a fair hearing up until that time.
The government had been under mounting pressure from the French government to expedite the matter involving Sommer.
Sommer was sentenced to time served (four years) and was released on March 16th, 2016.
St. Rose is expected to return to court later this month when a judge will decide his fate. No word yet as to whether his co-accused will also plead guilty to manslaughter.
The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), through the Division of Maritime Affairs, will commence the certification of crew on board commercial vessels, operating within Saint Lucian waters. The programme is set to sail from 1st June, 2016 and will target an estimated four hundred crew members working on board nationally registered vessels.
The Director of Maritime Affairs, Mr. Christopher Alexander, indicated that, “This initiative is another step by the Authority in the holistic approach of increasing overall boating safety on Saint Lucian flagged vessels. The crew invariably needs to interface with other craft or equipment and therefore requires technical skills for the safety of the vessel, crew and passengers alike.”
The manual “Basic Seamanship Crew Training” has been developed by the Division of Maritime Affairs and follows the standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It prescribes policy, standards, instructions, procedures, and guidance. It is expected that by 2017 this certification will become a mandatory requirement for crew employed on commercial vessels (plying for hire).
The objective of the crew training programme is to allow crew members to acquire the knowledge and skills required to perform safely and manage emergency situations on vessels.
Johnathan St. Rose, who has been incarcerated now for seven years, being escorted back to Bordelais following last year’s mistrial.