Murder retrial date set
The retrial of Mitchel Toussaint of Lala, Bense for the murder of his brother, Alexis Toussaint, during the early hours of Saturday, November 26, 2011 has been set for Monday, June 10, 2019 at the Roseau High Court by resident judge Justice Victoria Charles-Clarke.
Judge Charles-Clarke in consultation with counsel for the state – Director of Public Prosecutions Evelina Baptiste and defence – Darius Jones agreed on the date after many months of preparation.
The case first came up before His Lordship Errol Thomas during the May criminal assizes in 2016 before the trial as aborted. Seven of the witnesses had given evidence in three days, Wednesday May 18 to Friday May 20, 2016 when the presiding judge brought an end to proceedings and ordered a retrial.
Justice Thomas said on resumption that Friday about 12:22 that it had been brought to his attention that one of the jurors (four men and five women) had been seen talking out of turn that morning so that he could not continue the trial, he had to abort the trial.
Justice Thomas told the jurors that murder was one of the highest offences known to law. The court could not do better given the circumstances. And under section 32 of the Jurors Act he had no choice but to abort the trial. It would likely be retried in a future session of the criminal court.
The case up before Justice Charles-Clarke for the retrial during the September 2016 session of the criminal court at which point, counsel for the defence Darius Jones applied to have the transcripts of the first trial. Delays like illness and then Hurricane Maria kept prolonged the process of getting the transcripts until finally on Thursday April 11, 2019 counsel and the court were satisfied on that request.
State Attorney Fernillia Felix prosecuted the first trial in 2016.
Aggravated burglary trial
Another pending matter given a date for trial is that of Kelvin Alexander charged with robbery, theft, and handling stolen goods. The case of Alexander first came up before Justice Charles-Clarke during the September 2016 assizes. He had no counsel then and the matter was postponed. Hurricane Maria came along. There was no sitting of the High Court in 2018, but for some arraignments in November and December at the House Assembly.
Alexander's case came up before Her Ladyship for trial during the current January 2019 criminal assizes with counsel in the persons of Dawn Yearwood-Stewart and Wayne Norde. But by Thursday April 11, 2019 Alexander was without counsel even as he was given a trial date for Tuesday May 7. In the interim he was to find a new lawyer even as his bail was being revoked for violations during the preceding weeks. He cited work commitments and sometimes being tired and unable to keep his three-weekly check-ins with the police.
Kelvin Alexander is charged with robbery of $219,302.26 from Western Union in Roseau on December 2, 2012. He was also charged with theft of $195,575.10. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and would not take the advice of his lawyers.