Two murder-accused die before trial
Two of the eight murder cases likely to be tried during the on-going September sitting of the Roseau High Court in its criminal jurisdiction have been discontinued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Evelina Baptiste. And they are not for nebulous reasons. The two accused men will not be able to stand for any trial in this life anymore, both having moved on to the next life.
During arraignments on Tuesday September 22, 2020, Baptiste told the court that Daveroy Peters of Woodford Hill was deceased. He had broken out of the State Prison in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and in the course of his recapture he died, Counsel Peter Alleyne of the Legal Aid Clinic added.
Baptiste said the accused Daveroy Peters was buried sometime in January of 2018, and consequently, she had filed a notice of discontinuance in the case.
Peters allegedly killed Rose Renaut Wyatt at Woodford Hill in January 2016.
The other deceased accused is Luhanson Javeed Pascal of Roseau. Counsel for Pascal, Zena Moore-Dyer on Wednesday September 23, 2020 confirmed that Pascal had died in recent days. The DPP would go on to discontinue that matter as well.
Luhanson Pascal allegedly caused the death of his grandmother, Flora Pascal in Marigot between April 7 and 24, 2016.
At the arraignment on Tuesday September 22 before Justice Adrien-Roberts two men pleaded guilty to charges against them.
Denny Shillingford of St Joseph, who has a long relationship with the court system in Dominica, pleaded guilty to taking a black Escudo Jeep belonging to Deniford Simon without his consent and without legal authority at Mahaut on January 4, 2015.
In a plea from the Prisoners' Dock, the unrepresented Shillingford asked for a non-custodial sentence on that present offence because he did not like being in prison. He was having issues in his head.
Justice Adrien-Roberts noted that it had taken him a long time to find he did not like being in prison.
The talkative Shillingford went on to remind the judge that as a magistrate she had imposed his first prison sentence of eight months in prison some 20 years ago at St Joseph. Judge Adrien-Roberts did not remember that particular matter at the St Joseph Magistrate's Court.
Justice Adrien-Roberts told Denny Shillingford that she would request a psychiatric report as well as the social inquiry report to assist her in arriving at an appropriate sentence.
His sentence date was set for taking the jeep of Simon for Thursday November 5, 2020. The Legal Aid Clinic represented by Counsel Alleyne and Counsel Anne Riviere-Leon would assist the prisoner with his plea in mitigation.
Another man of Roseau, Jonathan Walsh, also unrepresented by counsel pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but guilty to unlawfully and maliciously wounding Shane Dorival on King George V Street, Roseau on February 7, 2015.
Walsh's sentencing is planned for Friday November 6.
Justice Adrien-Roberts ordered a social inquiry report for Walsh as well.
The DPP withdrew the first charge against Walsh.