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Duo fail to escape triple murder charge

Duo fail to escape triple murder charge


The last time Rodney Roberts and Jason Henry appeared at the Serious Offences Court, they were hoping that when they re-appeared in court they would have been discharged from a triple murder charge.{{more}} This, however, was not to be when the youngsters appeared in court on Wednesday.

When the matter was called on March 17, Chief Magistrate Sonya Young had agreed with lawyer of the accused, Arthur Williams, that the matter had been given too many adjournments and that a final adjournment date ought to be set. On Wednesday when the prosecution rose to answer whether or not they were ready to start the inquiry, the answer was in the affirmative, much to the dismay of the two accused who let out big sighs, coupled with looks of frustration on their faces.

One of the grounds on which Attorney Williams requested a final adjournment was the delay in starting the Preliminary Investigation into the killings that took place over seven months ago.

At that time, Prosecutor Station Sergeant Nigel Butcher told the court that he had not yet had the chance to go through the files which were housed at the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office.

The duo was charged with the murders of Reuben Small, 22, Ralson Omoro Bowens, 21, and Javon “John Wayne” Antoine, 20, which occurred on August 9 last year.

The post mortem report revealed that Bowens and Antoine died from single gunshot wounds to the chest, while Small died from multiple gunshot injuries, three to the head.

The start of the P.I saw the prosecution calling a total of six witnesses to the stand including the mothers of the three deceased. Station Sergeant Butcher alerted the court to the fact that he would not be able to complete the matter that day as the arresting officer was on vacation and would be out of the state until April 16.

While in the dock, 17-year-old Roberts picked a spot on the wall in front of him and stared at it, while Henry was told not to stare at the witnesses and to face the Magistrate.

The day’s proceeding was a bit too much to handle for Claudette Gordon, mother of Reuben Small, who had to be seated in a chair when she started crying and complaining of feeling ill. “Oh God, oh God, when ah go see him agen, Lord have mercy,” Gordon cried.

At the end of the day, Station Sergeant Butcher said that approximately nine more witnesses were to be called to give evidence. Summonses are also to be issued for other persons to appear on April 25 when the P.I. is expected to resume. (KW)