Connect with us


Fanny Pack, Hurricane Damage and a possible Set Up lead to Not Guilty in Gun Trial



By Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter



#TurksandCaicos, July 27, 2023 – A hurricane damaged set of doors, a lack of DNA evidence and a concealing fanny pack seemed to convince a jury of seven that a young man held for gun and ammunition may have been set up for the crime; his defence attorney poking holes in the case of the Police and Prosecutor to secure a not guilty verdict.

A serious firearms trial was scheduled for a July 10, 2023 start at the Grand Turk Supreme Court and it did, lasting some seven days, the jury returned a not guilty verdict for the man accused of illegal possession.

A jury comprising three men and four women reached a unanimous verdict for the now 20-years-old, JAVAUGHN EDWARD FORBES, who claimed  he was set up and did not own the gun or ammunition in question.

Representing the Crown was Principal Public Prosecutor, Clement Joseph, along with public prosecutor Tassja Mitchell.   Senior defense attorney, Noel Skippings represented the now acquitted defendant.

The allegations date back to October 1, 2021; the accused was freed on bail pending the trial.

During the trial, the jury heard that on the date in question the police armed with a search warrant came and executed a search for firearm at the home of JAVAUGHN FORBES on prison road, Grand Turk.  He was living with his adopted mother and her young daughter.

They specifically told them they came to search for a firearm.  They began their search and on the floor they allegedly found a box with a firearm and with four rounds of ammunition inside the box.  The accused was in handcuffs.  He told the officers he did not know anything about it.  One officer said the box was in plain sight, but on the cross examination by defense counsel Skippings, it was established through Sergeant Shervin Adams that ‘the box’ could have been either hidden by clothes or partly hidden by clothes.

They then took the accused and he was charged with keeping a firearm and keeping ammunition, contrary to Section 3 Subsection (1) of the Firearms Ordinance at the time, as then it carried a mandatory minimum of seven years imprisonment.

It came out in the trial that the door to house was not able to be locked and that Forbes’ room had no door.  It was explained that the recent and last hurricane had damaged the doors, so he had no door, just an opening.

The police confirmed that there was no door to Forbes’ room, but could not confirm if the outside door to the house could not be locked.

The police evidence in the trial was that they were acting on information received.  Someone tipped them off and told them a firearm was in the house.

The defense’s case was that Forbes could have been set up.  It was explained to the jury that the police informant told them exactly where to go because and the sergeant testified that indeed they went directly to the room of the young man.

Other officers had testified that they searched all of the rooms, but the sergeant’s testimony was ‘they only search his room,’

Defence Counsel Contentions were:

  1. The outside door wasn’t locked, so anybody could have entered the house.
  2. Young Forbes left out early in the morning to take his horses for the tourists when ships arrived.
  3. His mother worked and left the house from around 8:15am about 5:00pm is when she returned from work.  So anybody could have entered the house.
  4. His room had no door, anybody could have entered his room as he would be out all day sometimes.  His mother would be out just about all day too.  Anybody could have entered the house.

The defense argued that, his client had no knowledge that a gun was in the home.  It was said the weapon was in a fanny pack, the fanny pack was there and the gun and ammo were inside of it, according to the police evidence in the trial.

Police had hoped a sentimental link to the murdered cousin of the accused would be compelling enough evidence, however, it was made out to be frivolous by the defence counsel.

At the trial, it was explained that on the fanny pack was a button of the accused’s late cousin, Lloydel “LJ” Swann, who died August 10th, 2019 from gunshot wounds.  The police tried to use that to say well, because the button is on the fanny pack, he had to know what’s in the fanny pack.

However, counsel for the defendant said ‘no, anybody could have put that button on there.’

His mother in the house or the daughter or somebody from the outside could have put that button on the fanny pack in order to incriminate his client; for Skippings, this fact was not strong enough to put a young man away for seven years on a gun charge.

Police, during the trial also testified that DNA evidence was collected in the case, but when the attorney sought the results of the test, there was none said Police, as the forensic information was not sent out – since October 2021 – for analysis.

The jury spent a couple of hours in deliberation of the evidence presented; all seven returned and agreed that JAVAUGHN EDWARD FORBES was not guilty.





Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter



#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – The corruption case against Senior Police Inspector ALVIRTO SMITH and two others, namely: PAUL ANGENORD and WESLEY CAMPBELL is still underway in the Providenciales Magistrate’s Court before Her Honour Mrs. Oreika Selver-Gardiner.

The men were jointly charged with conspiracy to commit corruption, aiding and abetting corruption and a number of corruption charges dating back to an Integrity Commission investigation in 2020/2021.

The conspiracy trial that the learned Resident Magistrate has to consider and reach a decision on,(when the case arrives at it’s final date) are allegations that sometime on or around May 4, 2021, Smith and Angenord, who is a police mechanic ‘did act in a corrupt manner with one Christopher Hall in regards to a rifle firearm that Christopher Hall failed to declare.’

Wesley Campbell is also named in the alleged financial conspiracy deal or illegal agreement.

Christopher Hall, an accomplice in these proceedings went to a lawyer and then to Integrity Commission and got immunity for the firearm if he provided evidence against the others in the sordid case.

There were alleged cash and wire transfer payments to facilitate the alleged offenses.

This case has been partly-heard for months since arraignment in 2021, but there have been held, some consistent day by day proceedings over the past four weeks.

Continue Reading


UK holds steady on interest rates 



Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 


#UnitedKingdom, September 24, 2023 – For the first time since 2021, the Bank of England has decided to ‘hold steady’ on interest rates rather than increase them.

The decision comes following an unexpected fall in inflation in the European country.

It means UK consumers’ interest rate remains at 5.25 percent.  According to the BOE reports tabled on September 21st, only 5 of the nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to keep the rate steady.

The Bank expects the inflation rate, currently at 6.7 percent, to reach the two percent target by mid-2025 and food inflation is going down.

But at the same time, the UK’s Gross Domestic Product GDP declined in July and growth is expected to stay weak, plus, unemployment is on the rise in the country.

“The Labour Force Survey unemployment rate rose to 4.3 percent in the three months to July, higher than expected in the August Report,” the bank explained.

The US also recently held steady on its interest rates after a significant period of increase.

Continue Reading


Constitutional Meetings in TCI coming in October



Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 


#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – The Government expects to amend the Turks and Caicos Constitution this legislative year. In a follow-up to the opening of parliament on September 14th, the Government shared a list of the legislative changes they expected to see before the House of Assembly this parliamentary year. Included in that list was a Constitution Amendment Order.

The last time a constitutional order passed regarding the Turks and Caicos was in 2011 during the UK government takeover.

The UK and Turks and Caicos are already working to update the document to give the local Government more operating power. The country has hired Jeffery Jowell to consult on the updates but no communication on what those might look like has yet come from TCIG.

With bipartisan support,  Washington Misick, TCI Premier, is decisive in what he wants from the new document.

“As we decisively demonstrate our capacity to govern with competence and integrity, the UK must recognize, accept and endorse that we have the authority over domestic affairs. We are not asking- we’ve paid our price,” he said in the 2023 State of the State Address.

An upcoming meeting on the constitution between the UK and TCI is set for next month.

Continue Reading