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Five convicted persons are to be tried again for murder
Director of Public Prosecution Evelina Baptiste says she has filed "new and fresh indictments" in cases squashed by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) when it met here recently.
Thus David St. Jean, Kenrick Tyson and members of the Soufriere family, Manuela Williams, Loretta and Herbert Xavier, all earlier convicted of murder, are expected to come before a new trial judge in January 2015.
Kenrick Tyson was convicted of murdering Cecil James on May 10, 2009 at Concord; on March 28, 2012 Justice Bernie Stephenson sentenced him to life imprisonment after he was found guilty by a nine member jury.
St. Jean was convicted of killing Clement James and jailed for 25 years while Herbert Xavier, Manuella Williams and Loretta Xavier were convicted of killing their brother, Harrison Williams; Justice Brian Cottle jailed them for 15 years.
The ECSC has ruled that the trial judges made serious errors in these cases thus rendering the convictions "unsafe".
After the ECSC decisions, the prisoners were readmitted to the State's prison at Stock Farm to await Baptiste's decision on whether she would reopen the cases and order retrials.
"Having reviewed the murder cases and also looking at the nature of the type of evidence and what transpired at the recent sitting of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and, also, considering the rights of the defendants which are also paramount in making our decisions, I have met and informed their counsel of our decision to re-indict their clients," Baptiste stated.
In arriving at that decision, she said the rights of the victims, the interest of the society and the general public and the community at large were considered.
Baptiste also stated that the matters were "serious" and the public and the families had "a vested interested".
"We have decided on the seriousness of the allegations and sent the matter for retrial hence new indictments have been filed," she said.
DPP Baptiste said some of the matters are dating back to 2010 and earlier.
"In reviewing the cases, we may find that some witnesses may have died over the years and some of them may also be not inclined to go through the ordeal again of testifying...all that will surely be looked at as we come to decide on the matters," she said