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Vermont families not happy with verdict

Vermont families not happy with verdict


Family members and residents of Vermont are venting their dissapointment that no one will be held responsible for the shooting deaths of Brezen “Tuggla” Frederick and Devon “Lokey” Nickie on May 21, 2009.{{more}}

On Thursday June 17, 2010, at the conclusion of the Coroner’s Inquest into the men’s death, a five-member jury ruled the men’s death was as a result of misadventure.

Barbadian fugitive, Dwayne O’Brien Herbert, was the the third victim in the fatal shooting last year.

When SEARCHLIGHT spoke to Monica Trotman, grandmother of Nickie, the 67-year-old who makes her living as a vendor just outside the Kingstown Fish Market admitted that she hasn’t been able to sleep since she heard of the decision handed down.

“I can’t feel good that nothing come out of this…Nobody ain’t even tell me that the case been going, I had to hear this from other people,” Trotman cried.

Trotman, who suffers from diabetes and arthritis said her grandson was only going to the river that day when his life was viciously snatched from him. “I been just done cook for him and he tell me the food too hot, so he going down by the river….After about two seconds, all I hear is badam, badam, and next ting I hear is my grandson dem kill,” Trotman lamented.

She also noted that no one even contacted Nickie’s mother, who is in Barbados, about the case. “This is wickedness. My grandson just dead for nothing? But I know a judgement must come, and dem who kill my grandson wouldn’t want such thing to happen to their own people,” she said.

Vida Frederick, grandmother of Brezen, is also devastated about the decision. “I used to weigh 150 pounds, now I down to 145…. Me ah mash up inside, me can’t tek it at all. Is over ah year of suffering for me grand pickney,” Frederick cried.

Frederick, who raised Brezen since he was a toddler, noted that she is still baffled as to why her “son” as she refers to him, was shot that day.

“The police dem never want Brezen. He never did nothing. Is the Bajan boy dem been want,” Frederick stated.

Some residents in Vermont are also upset that nothing has come of the men’s killing. “This not fair at all, Brezen never do anyting…we just used to lime on the block and something should be done about this,” said one villager.

The inquest into the men’s death began on June 14, 2010, at the Calliaqua Court and was held before District Magistrate, Coroner Zoila Ellis Browne. The case saw over 11 witnesses giving evidence over three days.

Police officers testified that they received certain information and went in search of the Barbadian Dwayne Herbert at Frederick’s home at Vermont at around 10:30 a.m. on May 21, 2009. When the officers got there, they said the three men, who were seated on the porch, ran to the back of the house and fired bullets at the officers.

Later that day, about 6:30 p.m., the police officers returned to Vermont and met the men close to the property of Elverton Malcolm. Upon alighting the police transport, one of the officers testified that Frederick drew a fireram from his waist and pointed it in their direction. It was also said Herbert drew a gun from his waist and opened fire.

The officers then returned fire, which in the end, left the three men dead.

Although it was said that Frederick drew a firearm, that gun was never recovered. Only the 9mm Taurus gun carried by Herbert was recovered.

In the closing arguments of the case, lawyers representing the three police officers put forward a case of self-defense. Attorney Ronald Marks, said the issue of self-defense must enter into the jury’s mind when they were deliberating.

“The officers are not super-humans and their duty is to protect us from criminals,” Marks said.

Attorney Richard Williams noted that the law gives police additional powers to take all means necessary when carrying out an arrest.

“If everytime a hoodlum makes a threat to police, they must run? If so, then St. Vincent will go down,” Williams asserted.

He added that self-defense doesn’t mean that a person has to “get in the first blow or strike you first”.