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Blackout sparks prisoner outburst

Blackout sparks prisoner outburst


All hell nearly broke loose at the Serious Offences Court on Monday morning during the short power outage in Kingstown.{{more}}

In the middle of a Preliminary Inquiry involving murder accused Jason Henry and Rodney Roberts, Naptali Diaz capitalized on the opportunity to let his tongue loose.

Diaz, who is presently serving a prison sentence on gun related charges, was at the time present for a Preliminary Inquiry into a matter in which he is charged with wounding Isaiah Francis Williams with a gun on April 23, 2007 at Paul’s Avenue.

When the electricity went, he stood up saying, “What is this, wa kinda scene going on here? This is a court room and all yo ain’t have no generator?” he shouted at the top of his lungs.

Diaz ignored officers’ orders to be seated. He was then forced to take a seat on the prisoners’ bench.

“I don’t feel safe here. All ah you sit down here like some (expletive) stupid thing. I want to get to my safety too. Get me out of here,” he said.

Luckily no harm was created, since Roberts, Henry and Diaz were the only prisoners in the courtroom at that time.

“Alyo tink this a (expletive) beach picnic scene or wah. I serving ah sentence and me don’t (expletive) business all yo. I name Naptali Diaz,” he chanted.

About 25 minutes later, the electricity returned and the matter was adjourned to the following day.

Chief Magistrate Sonya Young had been quickly whisked away to safety from the pitch-black courtroom as soon as electricity went.

On Wednesday, Diaz was committed to stand trial in the High Court for wounding Isaiah Francis Williams, after Magistrate Young rejected his no-case submission. Representing himself in the matter, the strikingly confident Diaz was well versed with the legal jargon, and questioned the prosecution’s evidence.

Adding to his woes, Diaz was slapped with two further charges for using indecent language the day before. He pleaded not guilty to both charges and the matters were transferred to the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court for Preliminary Inquiry on July 4.