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Criminal assizes begin

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Twenty-one murder trials are set for hearing at the May Criminal Assizes at the High Court.

Those matters headline the list of fifty-three criminal cases along with six sentencing matters to be heard over the next three months.{{more}}

The Assizes, which commenced on Tuesday May 5 at the High Court, heard a number of high profile cases set down to be heard. Some of the matters that were traversed from the last assizes include: The re-trial of Police Constable Ericsson Harris, charged with the double murders of Volney Llewellyn of New Montrose and Jennine Gill of Villa Fountain road on December 15, 2005. Also down for hearing is the case of Patrick Lovelace who was convicted in 2005 for the 2002 murder of 12-year-old Lokeisha Nanton. The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial in 2006.

At the arraignment on Tuesday, Lovelace told presiding Judge Frederick Bruce-Lyle that he did not know the whereabouts of his attorneys Shiraz Aziz and Vynette Frederick. He added that he last saw Aziz about a week before the start of the Assizes and that he had flown to Trinidad and Tobago. Another lawyer present had to hold for the absent counsel in the interim. “Imagine you have a serious matter like this and you have other counsel holding for them,” Bruce-Lyle said.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams, also went on record as saying that the matter has been brought up before the courts on three previous occasions and the attorneys were absent. He added that witnesses were also called in to have the matter started but they were unsuccessful in doing so because of non-representation of Lovelace.

Meanwhile Grenadian national Sheldon Bain and Webster Woodley, who were both convicted in December last year for the murder of Peter Joseph, are set to answer charges for the murder of Livingston Primus in 2004. Bain, on the other hand, will be facing charges of the double murders of Rose Claire Dupont Williams and Jeffrey “Lancy” Williams of Redemption Sharpes. Both men are still awaiting sentencing for Joseph’s murder.

Devon Ambris, a 17-year-old student of the St Martin’s Secondary School, will go on trial for the murder of Fitzroy “Poison” Browne, 32, of Arnos Vale. Browne was stabbed at the bus stop just outside the Peace Memorial Hall. Also making the list is Dexter Quammie, charged with murdering his wife, Nurse, Kemlon Johnson in 2007. Her decomposed body was found hanging over an embankment in Dauphine on April 21, 2007.

Addressing the court, Justice Bruce-Lyle gave a sound warning to the jurors. The judge said some jurors think when they come to court it is a time to skylark. “I am going to be hard for this assizes and it is imperative we go forward from here and work hard,” he added. There were bench warrants issued for two absent jurors.(KW)

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