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Anthony ‘Scarface’ Hamilton’s death result of misadventure – Magistrate’s Court rules

Anthony ‘Scarface’ Hamilton’s death result of misadventure – Magistrate’s Court rules


As far as a five-member jury are concerned, there was no crime committed when Anthony “Scarface” Hamilton was shot and killed by a police officer on May 15, 2013.{{more}}

On Tuesday, at the close of the Coroner’s Inquest into Hamilton’s death at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, the jury found that Hamilton’s killing was a result of death by misadventure – meaning that Hamilton’s killing was a lawful act causing death, which was unexpected or undesigned in circumstances where proper precautions are used to prevent danger, and death occurs.

The two-day hearing saw a total of 14 witnesses being called to the stand.

The convicted rapist and burglar, who had, only weeks before, been released from Her Majesty’s Prison after serving 17 years, had requested a bathroom break from the Serious Offences Court, located on the upper floor of the same building in Paul’s Avenue.

Hamilton was back in custody, following robbery and assault charges, based on an incident on April 28, 2013, two weeks after his release from jail. Hamilton, said to be armed with a cutlass and a knife, allegedly robbed a security guard of a cellular phone.

The court heard that at about 10 am on the day of the incident, Hamilton, who was in the holding cell area situated on the ground floor of the building, which houses the Serious Offences and Kingstown Magistrate’s Courts made threats to kill and rape when he was released from prison.

He also was heard making threats against Chief Magistrate Sonya Young and senior prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Adolphus Delpesche.

Witnesses testified that Hamilton expressed his desire to gain access to a gun and after he finishes doing what he has to do, no one will get his body because he would have ingested a pound of Furadan — a pesticide.

Following his outburst, two police officers, Sergeant Duane Bailey and Corporal Alvin Gibson escorted Hamilton, after he asked to use the washroom at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

While being escorted to the washroom, Hamilton demanded that Bailey not touch him, and as a result, he was left to walk by himself with the officers behind.

According to the testimony of Corporal Gibson, while in the washroom, Hamilton stated that he wanted to defecate, but there was no toilet paper, so Bailey left for some, after taking the handcuffs from around Hamilton’s wrists.

Gibson added that while Hamilton was in the washroom, he pushed the door and attacked him. He added that a skirmish ensued between them and that his police issued shirt was torn in the process.

That damaged shirt was showed as an exhibit at the Inquest.

Gibson further added that his service pistol was exposed and Hamilton attempted to reach for it. He said that he charged the gun and discharged it twice in Hamilton’s direction.

Gibson stated that when the first shot was fired he did not know if Hamilton was injured because he (Hamilton) was still struggling with him. The second time he fired, he stated that Hamilton released his hold of him and fell to the ground.

The court also heard that Bailey, after hearing the shots went back to the washroom and tried to assist Hamilton, but it was too late.

He was pronounced dead on the spot by Dr Wayne Murray.

A post mortem report by Dr Ronald Child, indicated that Hamilton died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to his chest.

Gibson, was taken to the Milton Cato and treated for abrasions to his face and body.

Other police officers, prison officials and prisoners also testified in the matter.

One such prison officer who spoke on Hamilton’s behaviour on that same day, stated that he threatened another prison officer before he was taken to court.

The prison officer told the court that while being escorted to the court, Hamilton was using a lot of expletives and complaining about how frustrated he was and that he was not returning to prison because they would have to kill him.

Hamilton, originally from Rillan Hill was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for rape and burglary on October 22, 1998.

He was detained shortly after his release and charged with threatening to kill Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and other public officials, but was acquitted of that charge.

Crown counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, Sejilla McDowall and Tammika DaSilva-McKenzie assisted the coroner, Rechanne Browne-Matthias at the inquest.