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Three Murder Accused Plead Not Guilty to Charges

By Ronalda Luke

When the High Court convened on April 15, 2024, from the eight individuals who appeared before His Lordship, Justice Colin Williams, there were no guilty pleas in response to the various indictments

Among the charges were two counts of murder, to which three individuals, namely Samron Thomas, Marvin Albert, and Johnny Vivian Phillip, were arraigned.

According to the indictment, it alleged that on June 27, 2020, Thomas of Montin Grand Bay and Albert of Grand Coulibri murdered Damien Ernest at Laudat.

According to a police report, Ernest, aged 23, from Back Street Kings Hill, was discovered around 11:00 a.m. on the aforementioned, lying face down on the road near Boeri Lake. He had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his body.

Attorney Wayne Norde is representing Thomas, while his co-defendant initially appeared before the court unrepresented but subsequently gained representation from the Legal Aid Clinic. The matter was adjourned to April 19, 2024, for case management. Both individuals were further remanded into custody at the Dominica State Prison.

The third not-guilty plea on a murder charge came from Phillip, who stands accused of killing Timothy Avandale Anselm between March 6 and 9, 2020, at Petite Savanne. Anselm, a 63-year-old man, was discovered deceased at his residence in Petite Savanne with multiple injuries to his person.

Phillip who the Legal Aid Clinic represents was further remanded into custody and will return to court on April 18, 2024, for case management.

Two of three men, indicted for Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) With Intent, asserted their innocence through not-guilty pleas.

Francis Joseph is accused of causing GBH to Alleyne Carbon at Front Street St. Joseph on October 1, 2016. He is represented by defense counsel Zena Moore-Dyer. The prosecution had no objection to the continuation of his bail, which the court granted.

Etinoffe Thomas, also indicted for this grave offense, is accused of inflicting serious injuries upon France Desiree on December 11, 2016, at 13 Princess Lane in Goodwill. Attorneys-at-law Peter Alleyne and Bernard Pacquette represent him. The court similarly approved the continuation of his bail, with case management scheduled for April 18, 2024.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Sherma Dalrymple has sought an adjournment of the indictment reading for a St. Lucian on remand man charged with Causing GBH With Intent. Dalrymple informed the court that new charges had been preferred against Casey Kennedy, which had not yet been served to the accused. Consequently, she requested an adjournment, which the court granted for April 18, 2024. Kennedy stands accused of inflicting serious injuries on his ex-girlfriend and her sister.

From the other cases on the court’s list, only one sexual matter is scheduled for hearing during this sitting. A well-known individual appeared before the court indicted for rape to which he pleaded not guilty. With case management slated for April 22, the court opted to extend bail in this case.

The concluding case at the arraignment was that of Claudius Letang, charged with theft. He emerged as the most fortunate among the eight defendants, as the DPP filed a notice of discontinuance against him.