By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, October 6, 2022 – A new month has come with little change for the residents of the Turks and Caicos as October, like September, began with a weekend of violent crime.
A public shootout in Long Bay on Sunday afternoon between police and criminals resulted in several injuries including that of a police officer and at least two bystanders. Videos of the event show one man prone in the road, bleeding profusely after obviously having been shot and another bleeding from the face in a supermarket as residents try to offer assistance in both cases.
The shocking incident is even more proof that the criminals that have taken up residence in the Turks and Caicos Islands are ruthless, uncaring of whether their violence spills over onto innocent people.
Later, the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands would confirm, three people died on Sunday October 3; one a guest at the Ritz Carlton resort, visiting Turks and Caicos from Virginia.
Several conflicting reports have emerged from the Cheshire Hall Medical Center regarding violent events that might have taken place there. The police have not confirmed anything but the hospital was under heavy police guard last night.
Less than 24-hours before the incident a 14-year-old child was arrested by police for allegedly being in possession of ammunition at a youth sporting event. Whether the incident was as a result of idle curiosity an attempt at intimidation or one of countless other probabilities one thing is for sure our teenagers are being exposed to violence much too early.
It was also reported in local media that a second 14-year-old was shot at the same event.
As if that weren’t enough, two men were shot in separate incidents on Friday night; one was killed, the other fighting for his life in hospital.
Police say around 8 p.m. on Friday, multiple residents reported hearing gunshots in School Hill, Five Cays where on arrival, members of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands police found the body of a young man with gunshot wounds marking the 23rd murder victim this year.
Less than 30 minutes later, a man was dropped off at the Cheshire Hall Medical Center after being shot in the chest.
While they say they believe the first shooting was targeted the police have admitted that they are not sure about the circumstances surrounding the man in hospital who is in critical condition.
By Sunday morning, three more men had been arrested for gun possession after a car chase along Millennium Highway.
A police report informed that about 1 a.m. on Sunday, officers on patrol saw a white vehicle and indicated it should stop. When the men inside refused, a chase ensued and the white car crashed into a ditch trying in an attempt to evade police.
Police say one tried to run, leaving his compatriots behind and the two other occupants were trapped in the vehicle. Video evidence of the incident shows the car badly damaged, resting in bushes as those on scene freed the occupants from the car.
After rescuing the men and providing first aid, during a search a gun was discovered in the vehicle along with ammunition.
All three men were summarily held and arrested.
First Parker, now Shavez Musgrove FREED after Court of Appeal QUASHES CONVICTIONS and 25 year sentences
Freelance Court Correspondent
#TurksandCaicosIslands, February 29, 2024 – February 29th at around 9:30 a.m., the court of appeal of the Turks and Caicos Islands convened via video link and delivered its judgement as it relates to multiple convictions of rapes, kidnappings, firearms offences and other charges in the case of ANDREW PARKER and SHAVEZ MUSGROVE.
The appeals were actually heard since October 19th, 2023, with ANDREW PARKER being released that same day because after the crown, then senior public prosecutor Ms. Mickia Mills heard the arguments of ANDREW Parker’s senior defense counsel Mrs Lara Maroof Misick she conceded to the appeal being allowed against PARKER, and acquittals entered on all counts.
PARKER immediately walked free from October last year, leaving his co-appellant in prison, awaiting a decision, from the three appellate judges, in his matter before the Court.
Musgrove’s appeal was also heard on October 19th last year, but the Court needed time to consider the multiple interests of justice arguments put forward by human rights attorney Ms Sheena Mair on behalf of her client, Shavez MUSGROVE.
The then senior public prosecutor, Ms Mickia Mills, who is now the Turks and Caicos Islands, first Coroner, did put up a fight against MUSGROVE’S appeal but it was obvious she knew the human rights attorney – Sheena Mair – would present arguments as to the fairness of the trial which could have resulted in the conviction being overturned.
It is what happened today, the conviction of Musgrove was overturned today, Thursday February 29th, 2024.
Magnetic Media was in court at the hearing of both appeals last year and it was clearly through the submissions of both senior attorneys on behalf of their clients, that the learned local trial Judge at the time, Mr. Carlos Simons, KC made countless serious errors that affected the fairness of the trial and rendered the convictions and 25 year sentences against both appellants, unsafe and unsatisfactory.
The Court of Appeal said, they have QUASHED the SHAVEZ MUSGROVE convictions and sentences on multiple grounds of unfairness submitted by Mrs. Sheena Mair and because of the passage of time this case has being running some seven years with some of the evidence exhibits being destroyed in a fire of the exhibit room at the police station, in the interest of justice, no retrial has been ordered.
MUSGROVE is hereby ordered released from prison.
Police and Residents Speak at Anti-Crime Event
#TurksandCaicos#Crime, February 27th, 2024 -With the increase in population in Grand Turk more officers are needed according to residents speaking at a recent anti crime town hall meeting.
“At the ongoing capacity carrying study it’s been noted that the population in Grand Turk is around 7200 – 7300” a resident said, “we expect as citizens to have more than three officers on duty.”
Other residents pointed out growing issues of poverty, mental health and substance abuse as causes for crime as well maintaining that a holistic approach is necessary
“We can fix this, we can do something about this, but it’s going to take a village,” one maintained.
Both residents were speaking to a panel of the top brass of the police force on February 20th.
Residents Concerned About Catch and Release Tactics by Police
#TurksandCaicos, February 27th, 2024 – Residents of the Turks and Caicos islands are now expressing concern after several arrests that were made regarding recent murders resulted in no charges being laid. At least six persons have been arrested since February 8th 2024 on allegations of murder or conspiracy to murder. Word has now come that all six have been released with no charges relating to the killings though some picked up drug charges, pending further investigation. Currently a 72 hour limit is laid on police for holding suspects without charges with the possibility of a 72 hour extension. One of those arrested was a 55 year old woman who had lost her own son to violence weeks earlier. Some residents have expressed anger at the blight such arrests can place on reputations, seemingly, without sufficient evidence to back them up. However, this is one of the fallouts of having such small, close-knit communities as questioning suspects is part of the investigation process and, Police did not reveal the identities of those persons of interest.
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