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Vermont residents happy with police breakthrough

Vermont residents happy with police breakthrough

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A number of residents of the South Leeward district of Vermont say that they will sleep a little better at night and feel safer during the day, now that five men who were charged in connection with a recent murder are behind bars awaiting trial.

Bridon Joseph, Courtney Joseph, Shemai Joseph, Malcom Pollin and Mark Weekes were on Monday, July 25 charged with the July 20 shooting and chopping murder of Kamau Jones.

Jones, 32, originally from the Grenadine isle of Union Island, was killed while staying at the home of a friend in Vermont.{{more}}

On Monday, when SEARCHLIGHT visited Vermont, residents stood afar and in silence and observed as members of the Major Crimes Unit (MCU) of the police force, who had travelled in a white pick-up truck to the residence of Courtney Joseph, entered the house.

A handcuffed Joseph, who hours before had been charged with Jones’ murder, was escorted into his home, where police conducted a search. The officers emerged minutes later, seemingly empty-handed.

One woman who was looking on shouted accusations at Courtney and said that she was happy that the men had been charged and are now off the streets, even if it is just for a while.

She said that the men who were charged were not nice men and while she did not know if they did what they are being accused of, it is still good to get them of the street for a while.

Another woman observing the scene said that she had a run-in with one of the accused and it drove her to report the matter to the police, but nothing ever came of it.

Bridon Joseph, one of the five men charged with Jones’ murder, had been charged with murder before. On June 15, 2012, Dexter ‘Collie’ Joseph was shot and killed in Vermont. Bridon, Dexter’s nephew, was later charged with the murder, but the case was dismissed because of lack of evidence.

In April this year, Bridon turned up at SEARCHLIGHT with his friend Calbert Andrews. The duo claimed that a group of persons had thrown rum on Calbert and set him on fire.

Another of the accused, Malcolm Pollin, who was recently released from prison after serving a lengthy sentence, has been picked up by police more than once in recent times and was a person of interest in relation to shootings and other incidents in the South Leeward and Central Leeward area. While Malcolm, whose brother Sheldon ‘Billy’ Pollin was shot and killed last May in Diamond, has never been charged with any of these incidents, the 52-year-old man is described by persons in the village as a “ringleader”.

A male in the area, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that he was glad that Bridon has once again been imprisoned.

Another villager spoke under condition of anonymity and said that on the night of the latest shooting, about 10 gunshots were heard and said that persons recall seeing masked men in the area.

“I keep my distance from these men anytime I see them; I just stay far,” said the Vermont resident, who stressed that crime in the village, including murder, is up, and men have been known to walk about “bold-faced” with guns at night.

On Monday, when Courtney Joseph appeared in court, apart from murder, he also pleaded not guilty to having in his possession, on July 21, 2016 at Vermont, one round of .357 ammunition, three rounds of 12-gauge ammunition and nine rounds of 3.38 ammunition.

He returns to court on September 8, 2016 to answer these charges, while he and the other murder accused are expected back in court on November 1, 2016 for the start of the preliminary inquiry into the murder.

The men were remanded in custody. (LC)

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