Judge Grants Grant Bail
High Court Judge Bernie Stephenson last week ordered magistrates to grant bail to Earl "Seko" Grant of St. Joseph one day after chief magistrate Evelina Baptiste denied the request. Grant has been charged with conspiracy to commit arson along with Denny Shillingford at the home of G.O.N Emmanuel in Goodwill on December 25, 2010.
Police prosecutors, Inspectors Claude Weekes and Michael Laudat, strongly objected to bail for Grant and Shillingford citing, among other reasons, that "he was a flight risks since he was the holder of dual citizenship."
The police officers claimed that both men had the propensity to "interfere with prosecution witnesses". Shillingford is presently an inmate at the State's prison serving a prison sentence for an unrelated crime. At the magistrate's court two weeks ago lawyer David Bruney gave notice to the prosecution that "as soon as his prison sentence ends we shall be applying to the High Court to get bail."
Bruney told the court that he was "very disappointed in the prosecution" since his client has never failed to appear in court when he was required.
"He has admitted guilt and has fully co-operated with the police, I doubt he even has a passport," Bruney told the court.
In the bail order mandated by the High Court, Grant was granted bail in the sum of EC$20,000 with two sureties; he is to reside at the home of his mother, Mariana Cuffy at Church Lane St. Joseph, and report to the St. Joseph Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 7am and 7pm. Grant was also ordered to surrender "all his travel documents".
Grant is the holder of a United States passport but arrived here recently using his Dominican passport which was subsequently held by the police.
"He did not come with his US passport and that was not an issue of contention at the High Court," lawyer Dawn Yearwood-Stewart told magistrate Bernard Pacquette during the bail hearing. Grant is also prohibited from travelling and applying for any travel documents and should not come within 150 feet of any port of entry or exit of the State.
After brief discussions, the magistrate said he was "bound by the decision of a superior court". He, however, reminded Grant and his sureties of the conditions of bail and warned that if they were violated Grant could be rearrested.