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Grand Turk Firearm & Ammunition Trial Begins, ready for VERDICT



By Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter



#TurksandCaicos, July 27, 2023 – We reported on a firearm and ammunition trial that was expected to commence in Grand Turk Supreme Court on Monday July 10th 2023.  The trial did commence and the jury was empanelled to begin hearing evidence in the case.

We learnt that as of Thursday 13th July, the Prosecution had closed its case and so did the Defense. This now leaves closing arguments from both sides, the judge’s summing up to the jury and deliberations for a verdict.

Therefore, a verdict in the case against the Grand Turk young man JAVAUGHN EDWARD FORBES, who was only 18 at the time of the alleged firearm and ammo discovery on October 1, 2021, could come within this month.

The accused is represented by Senior Defence attorney, Noel Skippings and the matter is before his lordship the Hon Justice Chris Selochan and a Grand Turk jury.

This proceeding marked Justice Selochan’s first criminal trial in the Turks and Caicos Islands since his arrival.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution is represented by Principal Public Prosecutor, Clement Joseph and Public Prosecutor, Tassja Mitchell.

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Smart City Project a Testament to Innovation, Progressive – Dr. Morris Dixon



#Kingston, September 24, 2023 – Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Dr. the Hon. Dana Morris Dixon, has hailed the New Kingston smart city project as a testament to innovation and a beacon of hope and progress for the entire nation.

“The New Kingston Smart City demonstration project embodies the spirit of collaboration… and harnessing technology to bring about genuine transformation,” she said.

Dr. Morris Dixon, who has oversight for Skills and Digital Transformation, was addressing a smart city forum hosted by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on September 20.

The forum, held in collaboration with US-based project development firm Tuatara Group, was designed to highlight the benefits of a smart city, which is about using technology to drive efficiency in a sustainable way, while enhancing the quality of life of its citizens. This includes improved safety, public Wi-Fi, traffic management, urban planning and environment monitors, among other benefits.

The event also gave an overview of the feasibility study for the JPS Smart City Demonstration Project for New Kingston.

The utility company has been awarded a grant by the United States Trade and Development Agency for technical assistance to identify and deploy cutting edge technology and energy solutions in the business district and develop a roadmap for broader implementation of smart cities  throughout the country.

JPS is promising to redefine urban living in New Kingston  through smart city solutions such as a smart grid, intelligent transportation, and improved potable water supply, safety and security, solid waste, public health and environmental services.

President and Chief Executive Officer, JPS, Steve Berberich, said that the company has been investing in the New Kingston space with the rollout of smart meters and smart LED streetlights, among other solutions.

Dr. Morris Dixon, in her address, noted that technology is playing a pivotal role in refining the urban landscape, making these areas more resilient, efficient and people friendly.

She is urging citizens, as Jamaica strides into the digital era, to embrace technological innovations and adapt them to meet their unique circumstances and challenges.

She noted that the Government, in its digital transformation thrust, is not only  about fostering new skills and digital literacy but “reshaping Jamaica for a new era where technology empowers our communities, businesses and institutions”.

Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Daryl Vaz, in his remarks noted that the concept of a smart city centres around creating spaces that are efficient, inclusive and sustainable for every citizen.

The smart city uses information and communications technology (ICT) to improve efficiencies, share information with the public and help provide better quality services to promote economic growth and improve the quality of life for all, he pointed out further.

Minister Vaz said that the Government is connecting citizens, through the provision of free Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 180 communities in rural and urban areas.

Noting that the smart city will also improve transportation for  people, he said that Jamaica has set a goal of having 10 per cent of transportation powered by electric vehicles (EV) by 2030.

“The Government is doing that through the boosting of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) fleet with the addition of 45 EVs, which will ply the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR),” he said.


Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS

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Judge stuns, sentences “irresponsible” Indiana tourist to 8 Months in Prison for Ammo Possession



Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter



#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – His lordship The Hon Mr. Justice Chris Selochan in passing sentence on 18th September, 2023 on an American tourist MICHEAL ALLAN GRIM, JR, told the defendant, that his starting point for possession of 20 rounds of illegal 9mm ammunition found in his luggage was a sentence of five years Imprisonment.

The ammunition was picked up on the scanners at the Providenciales International Airport on August 1, 2023.

The announcement by the judge brought obvious despair and disbelief for the 26-year old in the defendant’s dock and his family seated in the public gallery; the heart sinking admission elicited what could only be described as an audible pause from the courtroom.

However, the five year sentence, was not the final sentence and the judge went on to articulate his reasoning for giving the young man a substantial discount:  A. You’ve pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity on 13th September, 2023; B. You have impeccable good character;  C. You provide this court with a number of impressive references from high standard members of your community; D. You purchased and possess the ammo legally in your home state of Indiana and E. You did not try to conceal the ammunition.

There were other points provided by the accused’s King’s Counsel representative, Oliver Smith that warranted and assisted with the reduction.

The learned judge outlined them all in detail at the sentencing hearing and promised to put his reasons in writing and make them available for the parties at a later date. The learned Judge said not every case involving tourists are the same and that there should be no immediate custodial sentence (no jail time).  He said that each case must be looked at separately and on its own merit, as each may have different circumstances.

He went on to explain that not because he found that there are exceptional circumstances in this case to depart from the mandatory minimum of 12 years imprisonment means that this defendant should not do some sort of jail time.

The Judge explained that Grim said he knew he could not have brought ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).  He had three opportunities to at least declare the ammo but failed to do so.  One when leaving the USA, two when arrived at the Providenciales International Airport in Providenciales and three before being captured by the scanners on his departure from Providenciales.

The judge further said and even while on vacation in the TCI you failed to secure the ammunition properly. The judge said I have to take into account the serious firearm and ammunition issues we are now facing in these Islands.

Justice Selochan told the defendant you demonstrated a clear sense of irresponsibility and negligence throughout and unlike the other cases (judge cited or named a few local and international cases) involving tourist, this particular matter warrants a custodial sentence.

Having regards to all the factors and circumstances in this case, and the very impressive submissions by both sides, Principal Public Prosecutor Mr. Clement Joseph assisted by Senior Pubic Prosecutor Mrs. Nayasha Hatmin for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutor and Mr. Oliver Smith, KC for the defendant, I must express my sincere thank you in the manner you assisted this court.

The judge concluded by announcing, the sentence of the court is eight (8) months imprisonment, the defendant passport is to be returned to him at the completion of the sentence and a destruction order made for the ammunition.

Mr. Oliver Smith, KC, in a final attempt to keep his client out of prison, asked the judge if he would consider suspending the sentence. The judge said I did consider it but decided this is not the appropriate case for a suspended sentence.

Michael Grim Jr was arrested in early August for the ammunition detected in his luggage, and at one point faced bail in the amount of $10,000 for the offence which carries a 12 year mandatory jail term.

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Police say DNA confirmed identity of headless body



#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – Head missing and body found floating in Grace Bay waters on July 13, more than two months later and finally DNA tests confirm what many in who knew the man, had already guessed; that the body was that of Ryan Ronald Musgrove, 38.

Police on Friday informed the test confirmed the identity on Thursday.

“The body of a man found floating in the sea on July 13th, 2023, has been identified as 38-yearold Ryan Ronald Musgrove.  Mr. Musgrove of Blue Hills, Providenciales, was positively identified yesterday, following the results of a Deoxyribonucleic acid (D.N.A) test.  Based on police reports, officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police Force responded to calls of a body floating in the water within the Grace Bay district.

Officers from the Marine Branch and Scenes of Crime Unit arrived at the scene and retrieved the body from the water.  Following the discovery an investigation was initiated to determine the circumstances and identity of the male victim.”

The horrible death of Musgrove is classified as unexplained by Police, who also say it is being considered both a criminal and non-criminal matter.

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