Firearm accused no strangers to the Court
Randy Shallow, the man charged for what is probably one of the largest seizures of guns and ammunition found in one haul in this country, is no stranger to police.
On Friday, November 19, 2004, Shallow, then 18 years old, appeared at the Serious Offences Court, jointly charged with 20-year-old Luther Badnock of Dasent Cottage, 17-year-old Earl Jack of Redemption Sharpes and a 14-year-old student in relation to the murder of 41-year-old policeman Elson âRacaâ Richardson of Barrouallie.
The men were accused of killing Richardson on Sunday, November 14, 2004.
When they appeared before the Serious Offences Court, prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche, a sergeant at the time, said that investigators were still searching for two men, Earlando Lampkin and Shorn George, in connection with the murder.
The murder was at the time the only recorded killing of a police officer in the history of the country.
The body of Richardson, a constable, was found at Belle Vue, about 18 miles north east of Kingstown, with several wounds, including a slit throat.
The discovery of the lawmanâs burnt out vehicle, P789, found in the road between Clare Valley and Chauncey, about five miles north west of Kingstown and about 25 miles from where the body was found, made the case particularly intriguing.
Richardson was attached to the Central Police Station in Kingstown at the time of his demise, and his death came at a time when police had mounted a stepped-up national anti-crime stop and search operation in response to an escalation in the number of murders and violent crimes here.
The murder of the policeman took the number of murders for 2004 to a record 24. What is notable about Shallowâs recent run-in with the law is that he was netted in circumstances comparable to those of 2004, in that police have stepped up their crime prevention initiatives in the wake of the 40 murders committed last year, the highest ever.
Eventually, the case against Shallow, Badnock and the teenager was discontinued, with Shallow opting to testify for the state.
About two years later, in November 2006, George and Lampkin were slapped with life sentences, after being convicted on May 26, 2006.
Justice Gertel Thom gave Earl Jack five years, after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter on November 24, 2005. He admitted to being the driver of the vehicle.
During the trial, it was revealed that on the night of the murder, Lampkin, 23, and George, 21, journeyed from their home at Great House, Lowmans, to Club Iguana at Calliaqua, where they were breaking into cars parked outside. The police officer was sitting in one of the cars which Lampkin approached with a gun drawn.
Lampkin and George beat the policeman, threw him into the trunk of the car and drove it to Rabacca Dry River, where they could not venture further because of stones in the road.
While in the car, Lampkin found Richardsonâs police identification card and said âYo dead tonight.â
Reports are that Richardson was crying for his life and told them to take the vehicle and leave him, as he had a family to take care of, but his cries fell on deaf ears.
They drove the vehicle to Belle View, where Richardson was taken out of the trunk and placed on the ground and told to lie face down. At this time, George did the unthinkable; he picked up a large boulder and crushed Richardsonâs head, while Lampkin placed his foot on Richardsonâs back. Not satisfied, George slammed the stone on Richardsonâs head twice more. He was then rolled over an embankment.
The stolen car was driven to Chauncey, where they burnt it.
At the time, then acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams sought the death penalty. He said the murder was committed in pursuance of the offence of armed robbery and the deceased was killed because he was a police officer.
Now, 11 years later, Shallow, now 31, is again in the headlines. His girlfriend Friekesha Douglas, 23, right there with him.
The duo appeared at the Serious Offences Court (Shallow again facing Delpesche), last Friday, charged with having in their possession one Glock 9 mm pistol without a licence, one .38 revolver without a license, a prohibited weapon, to wit a sub-machine gun (SMG), the component of a prohibited weapon, to wit an AK47 magazine and one round of 7.62 ammunition, one round of .38 ammunition without a licence, 42 rounds of 9 mm ammunition without a licence and 14 rounds of .40 ammunition without a licence.
They were detained last Wednesday, January 18.
The duo was given composite bail of EC$45,000 and they are expected to return to court this Thursday, January 26.
The decision by Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias to issue the duo with bail has generated discussions on social media and local radio, with a number of persons up in arms about the decision.
Douglas herself is no stranger to controversy.
On January 13, 2016, when she was denied payment after being fired, she took matters into her own hands and beat her boss. She was charged with assault, causing bodily harm, but was reprimanded and discharged last April, after she explained to Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias that when Jifen Chen, the manager of the Phoenix Restaurant, refused to pay her, saying they were friends, she became upset.
Douglas, who beat Chen with a slipper and pushed her onto a wall, told the court she was frustrated because at the end of the month she had to pay her rent and utility bills and was expecting to be paid.
After being reprimanded and discharged, Douglas expressed her gratitude for the ruling and assured Browne-Matthias that she would never be in court again to answer a charge.(LC)