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Crime

No Jail Time for Tourist Found with 44 rounds of Ammo

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By Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 30, 2023 – David O’Connor has already paid his fine and returned to the United States after agreeing to a guilty plea in mid-May, in his case of unlawful possession of ammunition.  It was an arrest not published by the Royal TCI Police but the matter concluded in the supreme court under Justice, Tanya Lobban-Jackson.

On Tuesday 16th May 2023, a visiting tourist David O’Connor was sentenced and fined between $5,000-$6,000 for illegally being in possession of 44 rounds of ammunition in the Turks and Caicos Islands; O’Connor was not the holder of a firearm and ammunition license which is a crime that carries a mandatory sentence.

The incident took place in late March 2023, at the Providenciales International Airport, as he passed through airport security checkpoint the discovery was made. The accused David O’Connor was arrested and charged.

At his court appearance, O’Connor pleaded guilty to the offense and his attorney Oliver Smith, King’s Counsel put forward legal submissions outlining to the Hon. Lady Justice Tanya Lobban-Jackson that this is a case of exceptional circumstances.

These ‘exceptional circumstances’ allowed the court to depart from the now mandatory minimum of 12 years of imprisonment.

KC Smith presented a number of precedent setting cases from neighboring jurisdictions, citing their striking similarities; referenced were Bermuda, Jamaica, Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.

Like the Turks and Caicos Islands, possession of illegal firearms and ammunition carries with it very heavy, mandatory jail sentences.  However, in the case of tourists traveling to or from the airport with firearm or ammunition the courts would normally depart from a custodial sentence and offer a fine instead of imprisonment. In some cases the authorities making the illegal discovery would sometimes, waive the charge altogether.  This too has also happened in The Turks and Caicos Islands.

The outcome in the court case did elicit some community outrage.  Residents were expressive on what they observed was a double standard in the justice system, giving locals mandatory jail time and a ‘slap on the wrist fine’ to a visitor.

Despite community concerns as it relates to disparities between local firearm offenders and foreign/tourist offenders who are licensed to carry, but in their own home country, there is a recognition by the Courts of the impact on the industry if a tourist were to be locked up for possession of guns or ammunition.

Consideration is therefore given to tourists who admit responsibility; that is they forget having their legal firearm and/or ammo on them at the time of travel.

It is argued that ‘it could be devastating and the TCI courts would appear as unfair in the eyes in the international public.’

Crime

Male Charged With Murder

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#TurksandCaicos, June 7, 2024 – A 29-year-old male has been charged with the murder of BUTLER BRAVE PROPHETE. KERLY AGENOR, of Dock Yard, Providenciales, was charged today (June 06th) following advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In addition to the murder, the accused faces the following charges:

  • Possession of a Firearm
  • Possession of Ammunition
  • Discharge of a Firearm
  • Discharge of Ammunition

The charges against Mr. AGENOR state that on March 05th, 2024, in Providenciales, he murdered Mr. PROPHETE, Contrary to Section 3 of the Offenses Against the Person Ordinance Chapter 3.08.

At the time of his death, Mr. Prophete, 22, of Wheeland, Providenciales, was exiting his workplace on the Lower Bight and was shot dead.

Mr AGENOR remains in custody pending a Sufficiency Hearing.

In a brief statement, Superintendent in charge of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection, and Intelligence Dean Holden said: “I wish to thank the officers of the Serious Crime Unit for their dedication and commitment in bringing this case to a charge. Further, I wish to reassure the public and families that the RTCIPF is committed to bringing prosecutions against perpetrators and, when possible, closure to persons who have lost loved ones to these senseless homicides”.

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Crime

Tragic Shooting Death of Frantz Fleurimond Rocks Five Cays Community

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 31, 2024 – The tight-knit community of Five Cays was left reeling following the tragic shooting death of Frantz Fleurimond, a 34-year-old resident, on the night of Friday, May 24th, 2024.  Exclusive insights from family members, friends, and neighbors shed light on the circumstances surrounding the untimely demise of Fleurimond, known affectionately as Frantz by those who knew him.

According to accounts from family members, including his outspoken father and mild-mannered stepmother, the harrowing incident unfolded around 10 pm.  The father vividly recalled the terrifying moment when loud gunshots rang out, with one bullet piercing through their wooden home, which housed both the family and Frantz in separate sections.

This wasn’t the first brush with violence for Frantz.

Several years prior, he had endured a brutal assault in Blue Hills, leaving him with severe head injuries that required months of recuperation in Jamaica.  Despite his resilience, Frantz’s mental health had been fragile ever since, with episodes of erratic behavior and struggles with substance abuse.

Described by many as a highly respected chef at prominent hotels across Providenciales, Frantz’s life took a dark turn following the traumatic incident.  He returned to live with his parents after his marriage ended, grappling with mental illness and addiction.

Neighbors recounted hearing the fatal shots on the night of Frantz’s death, followed by a chilling silence. Rushing to investigate, they discovered Frantz’s lifeless body in his own home, prompting them to alert the authorities.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force confirmed the tragic incident, expressing condolences to Frantz’s grieving family.  Superintendent Dean Holden of the Serious Crimes Unit assured the community that the investigation into the shooting were underway, emphasizing the urgency of finding justice for Frantz and his loved ones.

While details surrounding Frantz’s death remain murky, speculation swirls about a potential motive stemming from his troubled past and reported confrontations with others in the community.  However, no official statements have been made regarding suspects or arrests in connection with the case.

As the Five Cays community grapples with shock and sorrow in the wake of Frantz Fleurimond’s untimely passing, loved ones remember him fondly for his culinary talents, kind spirit, and resilience in the face of adversity.  As investigations continue, hopes remain high for answers and closure for those left mourning the loss of a cherished friend, family member, and community member.

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Crime

Two Firearm-related incidents are being investigated; one ends in MURDER

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#TurksandCaicos, May 30, 2024 – The Serious Crimes Unit of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force is investigating two firearm-related incidents that occurred yesterday evening and this morning in Providenciales.

Head of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection and Intelligence Superintendent Dean Holden said, “Last evening’s shooting incident resulted in the death of a 34-year-old male from Five Cays.

“The victim has been identified as FRANTZ FLEURIMOND. Based on preliminary reports, Mr. Fleurimond was at home when a gunshot was heard. The police were contacted and, upon arrival, discovered his body. The RTCIPF extends condolences to Mr. Fleurimond’s family.

“In a separate incident that occurred today (May 25th), a 48-year-old security guard was on duty at a bar located off South Dock Road when a lone gunman entered the establishment and proceeded to rob the patrons.

“While fleeing the scene, the gunman fired two shots, one of which struck the security guard.

“Officers and medical personnel were dispatched to the scene, and the guard was transported to a medical facility for treatment.”

The RTCIPF asks the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously give any information on this incident or any other illegal activities.

Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app and share information anonymously.

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